In yet another bubble headed move, Speaker Pelosi has announced she's Greening the House.
The Green the Capitol Initiative proposes meeting the Speaker's 2008 deadline for carbon neutrality by implementing three key strategies.
First, since electricity use is the largest source of carbon dioxide emissions from House operations, the Speaker has directed that all purchased electricity must come from renewable energy sources (such as solar or wind power.) Buying from these clean sources immediately eliminates 57,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually (equivalent to instantly and permanently removing 11,000 cars from the road).
The second effort designed to achieve carbon-neutrality calls for the House of Representatives to stop burning coal at the Capitol Power Plant. This action will reduce the emissions from the plant by 30 percent. The cost associated with switching to cleaner natural gas has already been placed in the Legislative Branch Appropriations bill that the House will vote on this week.
The third pillar of the carbon-neutrality strategy, the buying of the carbon offsets, balances out the remaining 24,000 tons of carbon emissions still being released into the atmosphere by House operations. Offsets are credits that are purchased (in this case from the Chicago Climate Exchange) to offset carbon emissions through investment in other U.S.-based environmentally-friendly projects.
"This isn't just a plan, it's a pledge," added Pelosi, referring to the new section of the initiative that emphasizes better recycling practices, more efficient water use and the procurement of environmentally safe products. "It's a contract between us and our kids and grandchildren, one that says we care about the world we live in today and the world they'll live in tomorrow."
Using one rather than another source of electricity is piffle--it's a fungible resource. Pay more for "renewable" generated electricity and the other production plants do not shut down. Other consumers will use it.
Switch from coal generation to gas generation and you increase the cost of running the Capitol, drive up the price of gas and achieve very little in carbon reductions.
And the carbon emissions offset pay out is a fraud.
I have a better idea and one which I imagine will be far more popular:Close the place down for six months. Go home!