Energy Task Force Recommendations Accepted
Last night the Arlington County Board voted unanimously to accept the recommendations by the Energy Task Force as the county moves one step closer to adopting a long term energy plan for Arlington. Jay Fisette, ushered in the plan he had been working on for the passed 15 months, along a impressive bench of advisors and well as community stakeholders. He called the plan, “the next chapter,” in Arlington’s sustainability plan. He repeatedly used the word “education” as a key factor in helping Arlington residents prepare for things like district energy and the required improvements homeowners will need to make. Better enforcement of current rules on the books, incentives and examples of return on investment are likely to be the first toes in the water. Board members Barbara Favola and Mary Hines tried to make it clear to concerned citizens and business leaders in attendance that this is not a mandate, but rather a framework to start the preparations for implementation. The time period given for full adoption is targeted for late 2012.
Schools were not mentioned as targets for teaching energy education, but there is still time.
Most comments appear targeted to tax payers. It is important citizens stay involved in the process. They must insist on renewable energy options every step of the way. Solar and geo thermal hot water must be made affordable through incentives, and businesses need to jump aboard. Increasing energy efficiency can be a great thing if coupled with conservation. Leave that part out and we will find Arlington’s old and new residents at the brink of our needs in no time. We must make sure we are careful not to externalize the decisions we make today to the living breathing residents of the future.
As Mr. Fisette put it, “we have to opportunity to act now so that we can retain our quality of life.” I myself think if that goal alone is reached and this plan allows me to continue to breath fresh air while standing on the corner of route 1 and 23rd Street in Crystal City, then by all means let’s get it going. My only caution is that we push harder for investments that add renewables to the power grid. If we should we suffer some type of energy crisis or attack we will be ready. And of course, that we use education in our schools as the secret weapon for teaching us all about conservation, stewardship and global citizenship.
Imagine energy experts eating out of Styrofoam, it happens every day in Arlington? Let’s cut out the contradictions and start setting examples in government, business and in our homes. Take the Pledge today. http://styrofoammom.com/?page_id=18