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Thoughts and Experiences from the Mile High City of Denver, Colorado

Capital Going Green, It's About Time

Peter

In an article in a newspaper article in The Hill, "House Leaders want Capitol to go Green", it discusses a directive from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other Democrat leaders to Chief Administrative Officer that he develop a plan to take the Capitol green. It is amazing that Congress has just found out there are ways to reduced energy consumption around their offices. The Executive Branch has been doing this for many years. The Executive Branch has been working on reducing electrical use by using motion detectors in the offices, using fluorescent lights, paying a transportation subsidy to help employees use public transportation to get to work, and using LNG and electricity to power vehicles instead of gasoline.

The funny thing is that most of this was approved by Congress themselves. So it is amazing to me that Congress is just finding out about going green.

Another funny thing in the story is a quote from the Chief Administrator of the House Dan Beard. In response to what he thought of the directive he replied: "... he agreed with the directive and stressed that the idea of 'green' buildings is not an updated version of recycling dryer lint, but the cutting edge of business efficiency. " Who won't agree with their bosses and still have a job, especially after he was just named to the position?

It is just a bad question and a bad quote. The reporter could have done better with the story. It was pretty softball. He should have pointed out what the other branches are already doing.

If you want to find out, check out Executive Order 13123, Greening the Government through Efficient Energy Management, this is from 1999. In addition the Department of Energy has been sending teams around the country looking at facilities and providing advice on how these Federal facilities can save energy, and this was in 2005.

Congress, what you are doing is great, but it should have happened a long-time ago.