Republicans Ridicule Capitol Greening Plan — But Keep It Anyway

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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

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