Comment from Gessaman, Kathleen Z.
Dear Council Members: The plan to meet new electricity needs over the next 20 years with no net increase in greenhouse gas emissions and no new fossil-burning power plants is admirable. The draft plan needs to address the reduction of the region's CO2 emissions. Reducing the number of coal-fired power plants would be a step in the right direction. Offering tax incentives to companies like PP&L to continue to upgrade their hydroelectric power plants while improving the efficiency or shutting down old coal-fired power plants would help reduce CO2 emissions. Requiring companies and cities to plant enough trees in the forests (replacing trees lost to drought and insects) to offset their carbon dioxide footprint would help reduce the region's CO2 emissions. The timber industry could manage such a program on their lands or in forests where they harvest timber. Conservation by the public and governmental entities is of extreme importance as noted in the draft plan. We have converted most of our indoor lights to compact florescent bulbs and have noted the improved energy conservation in our house. We plan to replace the compact fluorescent bulbs with LED lights as they become available. Our LED desk lamp provides adequate light and we hope the lighting industry continues to improve LED light sources. The biggest conservation savings could come from encouraging more efficient big-screen television sets and improving the insulation of refrigerators and freezers using new insulators such as Aerogel; http://www.nasa.gov/centers/ames/multimedia/images/2006/stardust-aerogel.html Perhaps the Council can encourage more green co-ops to help make new technologies more affordable to the public; helping to install solar water heaters on homes and businesses, setting up wind turbines where appropriate, installing the latest in solar shingles, etc. Net metering is another tool to really encourage conservation by paying businesses and homeowners for generating green electrical power using solar or wind technologies. I think we can all make a difference to reduce carbon dioxide emissions if the public is given enough information and assistance. Sincerely, Kathleen Z. Gessaman