Un-Greening the Capitol

It was somewhat surprising to hear that the GOP leadership decided to¬†scrap the Capitol composting plan last week. Surprising, because who doesn’t like composting? Somewhat, because you can find opposition to anything except ice cream and puppies in Washington.

The UPI reported that House Administration Chairman Dan Lungren (R-Calif.) decided to cut the program instituted under the “Green the Capitol” program of former Senate Majority Leader¬†Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

The reports cite increased energy usage from the pulping of compostables as a major factor in Lungren’s decision. This despite a reduced carbon footprint. Wait–you mean running a pulper is more energy-consuming than just putting everything in a dumpster?!? Shocking.

That increased energy use at the Capitol would lead to great climate benefits down the line, when the items would be composted, not landfilled. One would imagine legislators are used to spending money in the short term for a long term benefit. Especially when it’s done to set a positive example for the country. And it’s not as if $500,000 is a huge outlay for the federal government.

Given all of that…my cynical side–supported by both of the above articles–thinks that this dismantling was done to slight Pelosi, who saw “Green the Capitol” as her baby.

One undeniable notion hinted at in The Post’s report is the need for a better composting infrastructure. Closer composting locations would lower both costs and emissions.

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