I suppose the remarkable thing about this story is that it’s newsworthy at all.
COLLEGE STATION — This rural college town is more boots than Birkenstocks, more gravy than granola. It’s a place where conservative values and traditions run deep, and those who disagree with the way things are done in Aggieland are told if they don’t like it, “Highway 6 runs both ways.”
But this year, city leaders not usually associated with liberal causes pledged to fight global warming by slashing their energy consumption and reducing emissions of heat-trapping gases such as carbon dioxide.
The decision has placed College Station on the front lines of a green revolution that now includes hundreds of cities, counties and towns nationwide. Though the stated goal is to save the environment, the reasons for confronting climate change are economic as well.
The logic behind College Station’s decision starts with saving taxpayer dollars, building the local economy and creating jobs. Without changes to business as usual, the city faces a future with a deficient tax base, inadequate water supplies, traffic problems and a lower quality of life, according to a city report that prompted the City Council to pursue progressive policies.
“This is a critical growth period for us,” said Jennifer Nations, who is overseeing the Green College Station campaign. “We’re asking, ‘What will it cost to get new water sources? What will it cost to buy additional power?’ Sustainability is looking more attractive.”
I realize that conservation is just a personal virtue, but really, any municipal government that isn’t aggressively pursuing energy-saving opportunities should be voted out immediately for extreme fiscal irresponsibility. This is the height of no-brainers – cutting costs without cutting services. Failure to do so means just the reverse. Who wouldn’t want to do that? I find the whole “look! conservatives doing liberal things!” angle to be annoying and distracting, but in the end it doesn’t matter. What matters is they’re doing the sensible and responsible thing. We’ll get over that silly story line sooner or later.