The New Community Coalition: Green Gondola Campaign

The New Community Coalition: Green Gondola Campaign

[click “Play” to hear Ben Williams speak about the Green Gondola project]

Mtn V G 3 Governor Ritter has a very public campaign targeting significant, statewide greenhouse gas reductions by 2020.Telluride Renewed is our two mayors’ local response: a challenge to the communities of Telluride and the Mountain Village to produce 100% of our electricity from new renewable sources by 2020. One major step – or should we say ride – in the right direction is entrepreneur Ben Williams’ Green Gondola Project, which falls under Telluride’s The New Community Coalition’s broad umbrella of sustainable initiatives.

The people mover linking the sister towns of Telluride and the Mountain Village is a free service to both communities, but as the world turns, “free” comes at a high price: two million kilowatt hours of electricity each year. Because most of that electricity is generated from burning coal, the gondola generates a large amount of greenhouse gas, contributing to global warming. But Williams came up with a smart answer: power the gondola with on-site solar panels. When completed, the project could reduce emissions into the atmosphere by a mind-boggling 400+ metric tons of carbon dioxide each year or enough gas to fill up 383 Washington monuments.

Now do we have your attention?

But money talks and the talk can be discouraging these days. With the towns on either end of the gondola forced to tighten their belts to the point of eye-popping, how do we pay for a green gondola? Williams has that figured out too: tax-deductible contributions and a community-based carbon exchange. 

Ben Williams holds at degree in Natural Resources Management from the University of Maryland and has established a track record as a green entrepreneur and geek who does his homework. His company, Getting Climate Change Handled, has already completed a major study for San Miguel County analyzing the greenhouse gas inventory generated by the transportation sector. He is currently in the midst of a similar study for the airport. The New Community Coalition values Williams’ skills as a numbers cruncher with a green soul.

To purchase carbon and contribute to the Green Gondola Campaign, call 1-888-LIV-GREEN or e-mail

To learn more how the Green Gondola Campaign works, click the “play” button on Ben Williams’ podcast.

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