I am writing today to address several specious allegations made in a recent opinion piece made by Reed Dils.
350 Colorado is a registered non-profit organization working to end the climate crisis and transition to a sustainable future and is affiliated with the national organization 350.org. Within 350 Colorado there are multiple local teams, including 350 Central Colorado, who is one of the many organizations leading the fight against the renewal of the Nestlé permit in Chaffee County. In fact, the co-founder of 350.org, Bill McKibben, recently tweeted his support of this campaign. For Mr. Dils to state that “350 Central [sic] is misusing the national organization’s name to give them legitimacy” is simply false and misleading.
Robert Parker is also a 350 Colorado Board member and his wife Kay is a former Board member. Both are currently part of the 350 Central Colorado leadership team and 350 Central Colorado has hundreds of members, most of them local to Chaffee County.
What is more disconcerting is arguments made in favor of Nestlé and their continued proliferation of plastics. Mr. Dils should read about some of the multiple years-long campaigns against Nestlé waged by some of the organizations he alleges he is a member of, including Sierra Club, GreenPeace, and NRDC, and realize that those arguments are all smoke and mirrors.
[In my opinion] Nestlé has an extensive history of engaging in unethical business practices. These are the reasons that multiple communities around the world are shutting their doors to Nestlé.
Mr. Dils should also read the studies that have come out demonstrating that 91 percent of plastics are not recycled because they cannot be and instead end up in incinerators, landfills, the ocean, or tossed away upon otherwise pristine landscapes. [I believe] Recycling has never been the solution to the plastic problem.
Mr. Dils also forgets that the conservation easement was a contractual promise made by Nestlé and to date, they have failed to uphold the terms of that agreement, placing them in breach. Why would anyone support a company that fails to deliver on its legal obligations? Nestlé’s past actions are indicative of their willingness to uphold their promises.
While Nestlé does augment the water it takes, it is not the same standard of water or else Nestlé would simply bottle the augmented water rather than Chaffee County’s pristine spring water. More precarious is the fact that Colorado is a drought state that just experienced its first and second-largest wildfires in its history this year. Why allow Nestlé to augment water for profits when that water is needed elsewhere?
It is clear that Mr. Dils lacked substantial facts and instead opted to devote much of his time falsely attacking one of the organizations leading this fight. There is a real concern and a reason so many organizations and residents of Chaffee County have joined the fight to stop the renewal of Nestlé’s permit.
Sunshine S. Benoit, Esq.
President of the Board, 350 Colorado