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Republicans Ridicule Capitol Greening Plan — But Keep It Anyway

The Capitol Rotunda

Our GOP fiscal deficit saviors have decided that a Democratic effort to reduce the carbon footprint of the US Capitol (and save money on utilities) will be on the chopping block come January.

The Washington Post is reporting that a facilities greening led by outgoing Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is unlikely to receive the public support of the incoming Republican leadership. However, while the incoming GOP majority mocks the cost-cutting strategy, they don’t intend to replace the plan with a better idea:

“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.

So, I suppose using conservation to reduce costs is a Democratic (read: hippie, Marxist)  approach and should be scrapped? Actually America’s first vocal conservationist was GOP stalwart Teddy Roosevelt. But perhaps Mr. Kingston and the rest of the Republican Congress v. 2011 will offer more substantive ways to reduce federal debt?

Deficit reduction, along with energy conservation, requires collective action and thus the work of a collaborative government. When will pragmatism prevail over partisanship?

Image Credit by Greg Palmer via Flickr under a CC license

Written by Lane Jost

A lifelong conservationist, angler, gardener and writer, Lane is a Corporate Responsibility strategy consultant based in Chicago, where he currently works a CR consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

Prior to joining PwC, Lane was a global sustainability performance and stakeholder engagement specialist for Sodexo North America. He has experience in microfinance program evaluation at Grameen Foundation. A former President of the Net Impact Chapter at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), Lane has a master's in International Development Economics from the School of International Relations and Pacific Studies at UCSD (IR/PS) and a bachelor's in history and international studies from Kenyon College. Prior to working in the sustainable business sphere, Lane spent six years as a communications and marketing professional focusing on arts and culture in New York City, where his work included the creation of the jazz website gothamjazz.com and serving as the publicist for the New York Philharmonic.

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