Remember when Ronald Reagan pulled down the solar panels installed on the White House by Jimmy Carter under the guise of routine maintenance and cleaning and then never put them back up? Well a similar effort may be underway.
When she took over as Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi initiated the “Green the Capitol” initiative. Incoming Republicans are eyeing undoing the Green the Capitol effort.
Now, Democrats are headed to the minority and Republican leaders – who were skeptical of Pelosi’s program from the start – are preparing to trim the House budget. So will Green the Capitol see its own “footprint” reduced by the new majority?
“I definitely think it is” a target for cuts, said Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), a senior member of the Appropriations Committee. “I don’t know how much of it is puff without substance and how much of it is really consequential [energy] reduction.”
A GOP leadership aide, who was granted anonymity to discuss decisions that aren’t official yet, said “there are no plans to do away with the ‘Greening’ program” but added that the initiative would be less self-congratulatory than Republicans believe it has been under Democrats.
“We think a conservation program should be carried out as a taxpayer protection strategy, not a public relations strategy,” the aide said.
See what they did there? It’s another case of Democrats holding the mop wrong.
One Democratic aide responded thusly:
A Democratic leadership aide said of the possibility of changes to the composting policy and changes to the current speaker’s “Green the Capitol” initiative, “Well, we knew there would be a lot of trash in the 112th Congress but didn’t realize it would be literal.”
Here’s what the effort has done in 2010:
- An expected 23 percent reduction in total energy consumption in all House Office Buildings
- An anticipated 32 percent reduction in total water usage across the Capitol Campus
- A savings of 265 tons of unused paper to date
- A reduction of 375,000 watts of energy used in the House’s computer center
- A total of 1,800 tons of paper recycled annually
- An annual savings of more than 1.1 million kilowatt hours of electricity from the installation of 13,000 CFL light bulbs
- The purchase of 120 million –kilowatt hours of clean, renewable wind-generated electricity
The GOP’s overall view of energy conservation in a nutshell is that it’s not good unless it’s cheaper than continuing to waste energy and pollute the environment with climate-changing greenhouse gases. Future returns, particularly if you can’t hang a PRICE REDUCED! tag on them, are not important in the discussion.
And, as a bonus, they get to stick their fingers in Nancy Pelosi’s eye. No wonder they’re for it.
I’m just sayin’…
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