Comment from Vogel, Mary

I'm sorry I could not stay to testify verbally last night as I had signed up to do. Due to a recent injury, my own energy was flagging badly and I still needed to walk home. Here's what I had planned to say. I'm Mary Vogel and I live in downtown Portland in a studio apartment where I have never paid more than $16/mo for power since I moved in last March. Thank you for holding your hearing in a place that I could easily walk to as I walk or bike nearly everywhere I go these days. I agree with Angus Duncan in both his praise for the Council and its hard work and its failure of imagination. Like Mr. Duncan, I have paid attention to Council activities since arriving in Oregon in 1981 to work with Oregon Appropriate Technology and monitor the Appropriate Technology Grants program for the state--albeit my attention was more intermittent than his. Below, I want to suggest some questions you might ask to stir imagination: * What if we put a great deal more emphasis on locally produced, locally distributed renewable energy resources (renewable district energy) and paired it with aggressive implementation of smart grid technology as well as smart growth policy? * What if we made it easier for the above to become community-owned, RATHER THAN investor-owned by a centralized profit-oriented utility? * How much district energy emphasis would we need to reduce the need for the proliferation of NEW high voltage power transmission lines? * Would denser communities be more likely to provide locally produced, locally distributed renewable district energy? * What if we added urban form and urban design into the strategies for energy efficiency? * What if the Power Council joined with entities like Oregon Metro to call demonstrably for holding Urban Growth Boundaries and creating walkable neighborhoods in states that have them, and instituting UGBs/walkable neighborhoods in states that do not?" My attendance yesterday (Oct 13) at Portland's First Annual EcoDistrict Summit as a representative of the Portland Downtown Neighborhood Association showed me that I am not just whistling in the wind by suggesting that you ask these questions. There I heard from designers, entrepreneurs and bureaucrats who are actually implementing renewable district energy. I heard from people who are planning to implement a great deal more. As others have said tonight, the technology is already there. Now lets have the imagination and the political will.