The Aspen Skiing Company is committed to reducing its carbon dioxide emissions. But despite investing in solar and hydropower, it was not able to fully offset the emissions generated by the ski lifts, restaurants, and hotels it operates.


So the Aspen Skiing Company partnered with the Elk Creek Coal Mine to convert waste methane to energy for the local power grid.

Coal mines leak methane — a potent greenhouse gas. But if captured, this waste methane can be used to generate electricity.

Despite the environmental benefits of capturing and using waste methane, however, the Aspen Skiing Company has been criticized by some for working with a coal mine.

But company Vice President of Sustainability, Auden Schendler says…

SCHENDLER: “But that’s the beauty of the story, which is that, in the modern world, in this incredibly fractured, polarized environment, the only way we’re going to solve climate change is through very bizarre collaborations. And really kind of forgetting our partisan concerns and say look, if our goal here is to destroy methane, let’s destroy methane.”

Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media.
Photo: Screenshot from Aspen Snowmass video: Our Story.

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Diana Madson contributed regularly to Yale Climate Connections from 2014 to 2021. She enjoys exploring U.S.-based stories about unexpected and innovative solutions to climate change. In addition to her...