The name of a radical environmental advocacy organization was scrawled on a pipe at a natural gas pumping station near Aspen that was vandalized.
It was not clear whether members of the “Earth First!” group were involved in the intentional disruption of gas service to the Aspen area – which resulted in thousands of people living without heat or hot water – but the name was found at one of three Black Hills Energy sites vandalized, said Bill Linn, Aspen assistant police chief.
Police and deputies were able to gather physical evidence from the scenes, including at least one set of footprints in the snow leading up to one location, Linn said. Cameras were not installed at the three locations.
The fact that a person or persons struck more than one gas transfer site appears to point to an intentional attack on just the city of Aspen during what is traditionally the busiest week of the year.
Meanwhile, weather, temperatures, and deep snow slowed Black Hills Energy employees, who had to visit each of approximately 3,500 affected natural gas meters and turn them off. Black Hills delivered 4,000 space heaters from Denver on Monday for distribution.