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Saturday, April 01, 2006

The lady in green

New Yorkers have always stood by their Lady of the Harbor the Statue of Liberty, which, in turn, stands by them, proudly lighting the way for millions of new arrivals to America. Now that light will shine friendlier than ever. Yesterday Liberty completed its conversion to 100% renewable energy. The General Services Administration, which runs U.S. government facilities, has been switching over to green power for some time. Now, the GSA, along with the Park Service, have partnered to turn the newly refurbished National Monument into a truly green lady powered entirely by alternative "green energy."

Windmills in West Virginia and Pennsylvania will supply electricity to the national power grid that will exactly offset the amount currently utilized for the monument. That equals roughly the amount needed to light and power 1000 homes annually says Pepco, who currently supplies power to the Ellis Island facility. The GSA buys renewable energy credits which, in turn, means that that much less energy will have to be produced by the traditional burning of coal or oil.

The government has been slowly turning on the green power switch to all of its facilities over the past few years. Currently about thirty-three percent of U.S. Government power usage is offset with renewable energy credits. "It doesn't cost the tax payer extra," said one GSA spokesperson recently, "because we buy energy in bulk."

Although renewable alternative energy still accounts for less than 1 to 2 percent of the nation's annual consumption the trend is rapidly increasing and is expected to provide as much as twenty percent of America's need within 1 to 2 decades, thus significantly reducing our dependence on foreign oil and gas.

by Harlan Weikle
Greener Magazine

Read:: Sustainablog :: Tree Hugger

some energy use statistics from the Christian Science Monitor

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