Friday, August 08, 2008

From Senator Sherrod Brown

When I read about the 10 million solar roof act, I popped over to Senator Brown's web site and sent a message in support of that bill. I wasn't prompted to do so by or the numerous other progressive and/or Democratic groups who are always calling for mass emails to various persons of power. Nope, I did it because I thought it was a very cool green idea that would help give this country a kick start in its way too complacent and cushioned rear.

Did nobody get what Al Gore just said a few weeks back? Is no one paying attention to all the penguins dying, the seas filling with plastic dead zones and on and on? To get ten million solar roofs up in 1o years means getting a whole lot of folks involved in manufacturing and installing these things, and it gives people of moderate and working class incomes the opportunity to benefit from lower energy costs. Heck, I want to be first in line for one of those 10 million solar roofs!

So in a temporary burst of feeling like one email could matter, I wrote to Senator Brown. Forgot all about it until I received this emailed reply today. I don't care if it was written by a staffer or is one of a dozen canned responses -- it is still music to my ears! Senator Brown is a smart guy and he clearly sees what is needed in terms of an energy policy for this country. Senator Obama would do well to start singing the same green notes.

I appreciate hearing your ideas and agree that we need bold, innovative approaches that enhance our nation’s energy security. We need to create a new approach to energy policy where we move away from subsidizing 19th century resources like coal, oil, and natural gas and broaden our energy portfolio by investing in the clean, renewable energy sources that will power the 21st century.

For far too long our country has pursued a policy of consumption rather than conservation when it comes to energy usage. To reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reliance on foreign oil, we must pursue significant and innovative energy-saving efforts. The recently passed energy bill included numerous energy efficiency initiatives as well as an increase in fuel economy standards. This legislation not only provides common-sense ways to reduce consumption, but fundamentally changes our nation’s approach to energy policy.

It is also important that we provide the funds needed to rapidly develop our next generation energy sources and technology. That is why I introduced the Green Energy Production Act (S.2940). This bill would provide the resources and encourage the entrepreneurship needed to bring alternative energy sources to the marketplace and make our schools and communities more energy efficient.

Sound and sustainable energy policy must be a national priority as we work to bring green-collar jobs to Ohio, lessen the impact of climate change, and strengthen our nation's energy security. Thank you again for writing and I will keep your support in mind as future energy legislation comes before the Senate.

Sherrod Brown
You can read the full text of Senator Brown's proposed bill here. It is full of practical ways to turn our communities into energy efficient neighborhoods, providing funds for energy research and development. It also addresses the need to set up training and apprenticeship opportunities in green energy businesses. We are going to need a workforce that automatically thinks in terms of sustainable, energy-saving, non-toxic solutions to how we house, feed, cloth and furnish our lives.

Reading that bill, I started thinking about the idea of a green Kenmore once more. Filling up all those empty store fronts on Kenmore Blvd with green businesses. Squeezing out the game of chance parlors and putting in shops filled with products manufactured out of recycled materials. Further on down the boulevard, there are blocks of small manufacturing buildings that could be set to work recycling materials and manufacturing products that are ecologically safe. And wouldn't it be great to have solar, wind and geothermal production training programs in the Career Ed track at Kenmore High School? Senator Brown's bill would provide the funds to do just that.

If you think this bill is a good idea, whether you are from Ohio or any other state, write to your senators in support of it. Tell 'em what you think and help spread the word.

1 comment:

Ben said...

Always nice to hear back from a Senator or a letter from their office when you write in. I wrote DeWine a couple of times and never heard back.