When we left the continuing saga of Gene Marrano and his defense of RCCLEAR and ICLEI, we have found out that printing fliers can save carbon emissions and that the people of Roanoke were foolish to expect a scientific approach to calculating the amount of emissions saved by RCCLEAR. We also learned that as long as the tax money doesn’t come from the county, it doesn’t really matter where it came from.
As we delve deeper into Gene’s email, we reach Question 5. My original questions are italicized. Gene’s email is in normal font. My response is in red.
Why should my tax dollars go to tell someone to caulk their windows or upgrade their heat pump? Does RCCLEAR think the people of Roanoke can’t do this on their own?
5. These were not County tax dollars but rather federal that paid for the audits and education campaign. At least Gene is consistent. I know this doesn’t matter to some at local government level who constantly seek federal grants, but that federal money is still OUR tax money. Our campaign actually “gave back” some of these ($50K) dollars through the services offered. That is what we call redistribution of wealth. Helping people save energy improves their household financial bottom line and thus quality of life. What about the quality of life and the financial bottom line of tax payers who are funding this?
RCCLEAR presumes nothing about the knowledge base of the people of Roanoke Valley when it comes to knowing what to do to reduce their utilities but suffice it to say the 100 free energy checkups for small businesses and homes revealed in each case numerous opportunities to save energy that were heretofore unrealized and that included caulking and inefficient heat pumps and just about everything else, regardless of the age or price of the house.
Gene, lets use me as an example. I could use a new heat pump. I also know of some caulking, insulation and things I could use to save energy. But through a combination of my busy schedule, finances and laziness I haven’t done those things. As the Wedge Study from Michigan State correctly points out, the more you make it easy for me to do that, the more likely I am to do it. The problem is that you are taking money from a bankrupt federal government to make it easy for people.
Additionally, the Department of Energy thought this was an appropriate use of the grant, as their staff approved our plans. (emphasis added) The Department of Energy, has some well publicized black eye lately so citing their blessing is not particularly reassuring. Ever heard of Solyndra Gene? But since you think I am crazy to think ICLEI is tied to the U.N., wait till you read this on the DOE. The Department of Energy is directed by three separate executive orders to promote Agenda 21 principles.
The first was in 1995 when President Clinton signed Executive Order #12858, signed by Bill Clinton in 1995, created the President’s Council on Sustainable Development and directed all departments of the executive branch to assist the council.
Subsequent executive Orders from the Obama Administration Executive Order 13575 and Executive Order 12852 simply reword Agenda 21 language and directs the DOE to implement sustainable development wherever possible.
So I’m sure Gene will consider this a conspiracy theory too, but getting the blessing of the DOE doesn’t get you much credibility as they will rubber stamp anything that smells or tastes like reduced carbon emissions….regardless of how contrived your numbers are.
6) Did ICLEI really reduce paper usage and MPG for the county?
6. Roanoke County has been involved in some internal, on-going, energy conservation measures since implementing a system of environmental management in 2002. The membership in ICLEI enabled us to measure our government operations carbon footprint for the first time and thus quantify what kinds of energy were being used and in which operations (fleet, facilities). Subsequently the County decided to utilize $322,000 of the stimulus grant to subsidize a $1.4M dollar energy performance contract to improve the lighting, HVAC and water use of 20 buildings with a payback of less than 10 years
Well first of all Gene never answered the question. The question was based on the defense of ICLEI from Roanoke County, where they touted reductions in paper usage and MPG of the fleet as benefits of the ICLEI relationship. To quote my analysis of this study….
The county “reduced paper consumption from 30 tons to 18 tons.” Over what time frame? Was some of that prior to the ICLEI partnership? Don’t most businesses today work hard to reduce paper usage as part of their standard procedures with digital solutions like email and Adobe? It just makes business sense and saves money. The county couldn’t have done this without ICLEI? Not only could they…they undoubtedly would have regardless of their affiliation. This is like taking credit for the sun coming up in the morning.
“Reduced the usage of gasoline and diesel fuel by driving fewer miles in more energy efficient vehicles. The fleet MPG was 3 in 2003 and 13.09 in 2011.” How much of that reduction took place before 2007 when ICLEI came on board? How much is attributable to better overall mileage in vehicles and the ability to use online meeting tools to avoid driving to meetings? This is like taking credit for the sun setting in the evening.
None of what Gene referenced had ANYTHING to do with ICLEI getting credit for stuff that would have happened anyway. But it wouldn’t be an argument with a liberal if they didn’t dodge at least one question and throw a bunch of something else at you to keep you from following up on it.
As for the things Gene did mention, Well according to ICLEI Milestone One Document presented to Roanoke County. “Roanoke County has had an environmental management system since 2001 and has already demonstrated expertise in reducing energy use.” So Gene was right here (although a year off). A department that apparently was doing a good job. So one presumes they could have done all of the county energy saving measures without an ICLEI membership
But since the milestone document states that Roanoke County government only accounts for .07% of the carbon emissions in the county, is spending $322,000 to reduce the county’s emissions really money well spent if your goal is to meet the 20% reduction goal you are shooting for by 2020? Based on the logic of the Wedge Study, you should have spent the $322,000 on audits and more fliers. Then you could have printed a 100,000 fliers and based on your logic, we’d likely have global warming stopped in its tracks by January.
That’s what I call a missed opportunity.
Not only that, if I delved into the methodology of the ICLEI software and how it calculates carbon emission savings, would it be just as skewed as the admittedly unscientific methods used for the RCCLEAR results? If the DOE and everyone was OK with that, why should I trust the validity of other measurement processes you use?
Don’t worry though, I’m sure their software has won an award from someone. If you will lie on the little things (and never admit you are lying even though your hand was caught in the cookie jar) why wouldn’t you lie on the big things?
And not to beat a dead horse, but that $322,000 of federal stimulus money was sold to the American people as something to boost the economy, not to save the Roanoke County Government money on its electric bills. It certainly didn’t work to boost the economy and while it may save the county money in the long term, is this the best way to spend federal money we don’t have?
I know some county folks like Gene believe these grants come from the aforementioned pot at the end of the rainbow. They also generally use the argument that if we don’t spend the money, someone else will.
That again is the thinking that has gotten us a $16 trillion deficit.
Once again, liberal logic on full display from Gene Marrano. Tune in on Monday when we conclude the Gene Marrano dare. We will see our intrepid journalist contradicting the ICLEI Milestone documents and talking about the county’s ability to theoretically influence traffic on I-81.
“a portion of the traffic on I81 is local which theoretically could be influenced.”
One can only wonder what influence Gene would want the county to exude on the portion of I-81 that runs through the county. One can only shudder at the thought. That plus a nice testimonial and how the audits that helped her now, play a small part in the bigger problem that will ultimately destroy this nice lady economically.
Plus what we have learned from this exercise. Look for it Monday. Have a great weekend. And see you on the Virginia Tea Party Network 910 AM at noon on Saturday. Right after Gene’s show.