“The environmental stewardship of our planet is a moral, social, political and financial issue, requiring action by all individuals, communities, businesses, religious institutions, social leaders, and especially by public officials.”
At the July 10 Board of Supervisor’s meeting,, I voted against the County’s first-ever Operational Energy Strategy. While I strongly believe the County needs such a strategy, the goals and plan were not aggressive enough to make a real positive difference to either our County budget or our environment.
The Energy Strategy set goals and targets for reducing energy use in County buildings, vehicles and operations, increasing some efficiencies, and saving money while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions. However, the strategy did not go far enough in advancing efficiencies, assessing future impacts or providing community and governmental leadership. As a County, we can and must do more to save people, places and property. Yes, the waters are rising, particularly here in the Mount Vernon District, our rivers, bays and marshes are seeing sea-level rise. We are experiencing more extreme weather events from derechos to snowmageddons. Without strong, aggressive actions to stop or at least slow down global warming and protect our environment, these conditions will continue to worsen for ourselves, our children and our grandchildren.
Our time to act is now!
The County needs more aggressive goals and actions for our Operational Energy Strategy, but it also needs a Community Climate Action Plan and to begin resiliency planning for the changes coming. I believe that by adopting stronger energy efficiency and savings goals, the County will not only lead the way in improving the quality of our environment, but also realize a rapid return on investment resulting in millions of dollars in future cost savings. During my time on the School Board, we successfully engaged an Energy Saving Performance Contractor which saved the schools more than $10 million in 3 ½ years. I am very proud of this achievement as these cost savings continue to increase as each day passes.
The environmental stewardship of our planet is a moral, social, political and financial issue, requiring action by all individuals, communities, businesses, religious institutions, social leaders, and especially by public officials. My thanks to the many community groups who embrace this challenge every day, working hard to education others and make our communities more sustainable and better places to live. It is an honor to serve you.