14 March 2008

To Senator Ken Salazar

RE: New Frontiers in Energy

I hope part of your planning will include a focus on using less energy of any kind, and not just finding more. I think a positive way to achieve this is to create building opportunities for average citizens that reduce the need for heating and cooling. Strawbale building is a fine example of this, but is inaccessible to all but the wealthy (paradoxically) because of prohibitive building codes. Another way to conserve energy is to reduce electric signage and night-time lighting. Make solar signage mandatory. Likewise, is it really necessary for utility companies to have so many streetlights in rural areas? There should be less energy-consumptive ways to check the power grid, than having lights burning every night, all night. The frivolous ways that Americans use energy is the reason for much of our current dilemma. How much electricity would we save if sound systems in public places like stores and restaurants were eliminated? We must connect the dots. Our focus, if we are indeed interested in saving our environment, must be on less, not more. It begins in our own homes, and our leadership must set the example.

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