Monday, March 12, 2007

We Like Your Plan, Mayor Fitch!

The Mayor of Warrenton, a town of maybe 10,000 nestled in the foothills of western Virginia, has a plan to make his burg energy independent and virtually carbon neutral. (See Washington Post story here.)

George Fitch, the Mayor, wants to build a $30 million plant at the county dump to convert waste into electricity and ethanol. And, he thinks he can do it without raising taxes or taking on debt.

We sure hope he succeeds. What a fabulous precedent that would set for other communities across the nation!

Fitch and his allies in Warrenton are not exactly pie-in-the-sky liberals. (According to one of Fitch's fellow town council members, they aren't "environmentalists" because that would be "somebody who wears Birkenstocks and carries a knapsack and too-long hair and spends his free time working for the Sierra Club." Guess the Curmudgeon's not an environmentalist either--phew!)

Instead, they offer up the possibility of a mainstream conservative vision of energy conservation, independence and environmental stewardship. (This is quite a contrast to the complete lack of vision espoused by hard-right conservative Mark Sanford, governor of South Carolina, in an insipid op-ed piece in the Post a couple weeks ago, about which we've already commented.)

What Fitch recognizes is that turning garbage into energy simply makes eminent sense as an example of good government. If adopted as a widespread model, it also makes everyone more secure both by reducing reliance on imported oil and by widely distributing electric production facilities (which makes the grid less vulnerable to terrorism).

We just hope Fitch's vision doesn't cause Warrenton to be overrun by long-haired Birkenstock-clad backpackers in Prius's covered with Sierra Club stickers.


Anonymous said...

there already several such power plant faciliites in the NOVA region.

2 are in Alexandria along Eisenhower and is a joint facility b/n the City of Alexandria and the Co. of Arl. It operates at full capacity, 29 MW.

2 are also located in Fairfax Co. down at the Lorton landfill. This facility operates at 63.7% of capacity, 79 MW at the nameplate capacity of 124 MW. (Not sure the reason: could be that there currently isn't enough trash in Fairfax or there could be some combustion standard which limits generation, but I doubt that.)

Both are owned and operated by Covanta Energy.

It would be nice to see Loudoun County complete a facility of this type or another which to serve its booming economy. With all that is known today, while having just recently developed itself, Loudon can not continue to harbor a viewpoint which subjects its energy needs on its neighbors, Warren, Fauquier, Culpepper and Prince William counties.


PS - Also have you checked out BBC documentary which opposed Al Gore's? Its pretty interesting to say the least.

Funny, I posted a comment about the same on Green Miles and Miles took it off! I guess he doesn't want anything on his website that factually runs against his viewpoint

I say, keep your eyes, ears, and your blog open to all things and all viewpoints. Miles, however, doesn't see it that way.

Spank That Donkey said...

We should design all of our landfills to create the most methane as possible to harness it for renewable energy.

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