Thursday, March 3, 2011

GOP lawmakers defeate ‘greener schools’ mandate

A proposal requiring greater energy efficiency in Colorado’s schools was defeated today on a party-line vote in the House State, Veterans & Military Affairs Committee, with ruling Republicans opposed. House Bill 1204, by Rep. Andy Kerr, D-Lakewood, would have required new construction or remodels of public schools to incorporate and meet updated energy standards through a variety of means.

Republican panel members quizzed Kerr on the need for the energy-efficiency mandate in light of trends in construction that already conform to greater efficiencies.

“Why create a level of bureaucracy if the free market is already heading in this direction?” asked Rep. Mark Waller, R-Colorado Springs.

Kerr told the panel that in this case, sooner is better than later and that the added push from the government would “thread the needle” for schools when they are building or remodeling. The future energy savings would then benefit the taxpayer, Kerr said.

“We could let the free market take its course, but in the meantime taxpayers lose out,” said Kerr. “We can’t wait because one of the shortcomings of the market is that it sometimes takes awhile to move in the right direction.”

However, the bottom line, Kerr said, is the benefit for students. He cited studies that show marked improvements in students’ productivity and well-being. One such school in Kentucky has achieved a net-zero building, creating more energy than it uses. Kerr said the Kentucky school example should spur on Colorado’s schools.

“If Turkeyfoot, Kentucky can do it, so should Colorado,” said Kerr.

Via - Colorado News Agency

No comments:

Post a Comment