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Chamber of Commerce Questions Energy Plan

by ARLnow.com — October 18, 2010 at 9:07 am 1,111 21 Comments

Arlington Chamber of Commerce Chairman Philip Keating says now is the time to “review and debate” Arlington County’s proposed community energy plan.

In a letter to members, Keating says the chamber’s government affairs and green business committees will be discussing the plan in the coming weeks. In the meantime, he had the following to say about the still-developing plan:

It is great to have goals, but as the expression goes “the devil is in the details,” and in the case of the draft energy plan, essential details are not being addressed at this stage … The Arlington Chamber is concerned by the unstated issues of cost, decisions of who will bear the cost, marketplace viability of the goals in the time frames contemplated, impact on the rights of property owners, and enforcement. In cases where actions impact the public good, it is the position of the Arlington Chamber that the general public should bear the expense, not just the business community.

The county is planning a public forum on the energy plan this week. The forum will be held from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. on Thursday at Wakefield High School.

  • shirley

    Keating is right. This document have the potential to spike people’s costs to live in Arlington.
    It is also a near carbon copy of the same consultants report handed to Loudoun County. So what did we pay to get a xerox copy?

  • YoQuireoDistricTacos

    This is a weak statement by the Chamber. It’s just like business to focus on costs, and not benefits when businesses stand to benefit the most. So they want the public to pay for it so they can have lower cost more reliable energy. Ho-hum Chamber. The rich get richer… Now who wants some District Tacos?!

    • Burger

      Yeah…who wants such stupid things like profit. We can all live off of zero energy use.

  • Charlie

    How do we make A-Town zero energy? Will this plan do that?

  • Jack

    the energy plan is a terrible idea… if the county gets its way – we would all need taxpayer-funded “affordable housing” units in order to live in arlington. maybe that’s the county boards real goal.

  • Charlie

    Jack, what do you mean? I don’t understand your comment. Do you mean it would raise property value? I thought increased property value is a good thing. Ask people around the country where they are upside down on their mortgage values and they wish they had our problem.

    • Jack

      nope – i mean the county board is trying to make it more expensive to live in Arlington through this energy plan.

    • Let’s Be Free

      Charlie, your attributions on the cause of property values are way off base.

      The reasons that property values have held up around here are location, location and location. Hosting the headquarters of the defense department as we are moving into our tenth year on a war footing and being a stone’s throw from a Federeal Government that is printing and spending money like there is no tomorrow are why Arlington is doing so well from a residential property value perspective. We house an armada of well-healed bureaucrats, lawyers, lobbyists and consultants who feed from a trough deeper and better stocked than anywhere else in the world.

      By the way, the lead consultant on the energy task force is a sales guy masquerading as a strategic planner. The consultants also brought in the original cap and tax guy who advised Kenny Boy at Enron back in the day.

      I am quite adept at using thermostats and on/off switches. I don’t need or want Arlington County to require me to spend $10, $15 or $20 K gilding systems in my home — not under any circustances.

  • Jezebel

    Considering this energy plan is largely conceptual and not fleshed out in any detail yet, my guess is people are making up boogy-men to frighten others. Let’s be enlightened, and informed with facts, and don’t let fear run your life.

  • tesa

    the energy plans calls for “power plants” to be built in Rosslyn, and Crystal City to provide local power. While it is logical because huge amounts of power are lost to transmission from a remote facility to the user, who is going to want to have a mini-power plant next door?

    • BoredHouseWife

      Just hook up to the pentagon’s nuclear facility:)

  • Lisa

    Why wasn’t the Chamber involved earlier? It seems like the County really dropped the ball for not getting input from the Chamber from the start.

    • lets not jump to conclusions

      ahem, the chamber has had a rep on the task force since the beginning of the effort

    • Lou

      Philip Keating is on the task force.

      But these people are not necessarily experts on energy reform. The real brains behind the plan is an outside consultant group that the County has hired.

    • shirley

      the task force included a cross populatin of arlington. but they were mostly told stuff. very low interaction.

  • Phil Keating

    I have been the Chamber representative on the Task Force from the beginning. Like all Task Force members, I have been raising issues of concern throughout the process. The quote in the story is from a monthly column to Chamber members keeping them updated on relevant issues. We have serious concerns about how the final recommendations will be implemented, the regulatory procedures and requirements the County government will introduce, and issues of cost, intrusions on private property rights, etc.

    We also have been advocating for transperency and open discussion on the costs and benefits of the energy plan proposals. A key aspect of achieving the energy reductions contemplated by the draft report is for greater density than what presently is available in the R-B, Columbia Pike, Crystal City and other areas. That is a controversial issue in the Arlington community and one that needs to be discussed thoroughly.

    The task force process is not done yet, which is why it is important that people make their opinions known.

  • Ken Green

    You know, I’d like to attend the meeting to discuss this, but somehow, our county government, which constantly touts the virtue of transit-oriented, livable communities, often holds its meetings in places that are far from metro-accessible. Why is this being held at an out of the way place like Wakefield High School, rather than somewhere near a metro stop?

    • Lou

      Good point.

    • shirley

      the county is VERY good at talking; but they aren’t so good at walking the talk.

  • terri

    excuse me.. how does greater density (more people/housing/business) help achieve energy savings? we all need to reduce our energy consumption, but many people don’t or won’t. does the arlington chamber support the national chamber in it’s intensive lobbying against clean energy??

    • shirley

      the consultant is almost completely focused on how much energy is lost in the transmission of energy from power plant to user. So if more people lived closer together they could build a mini-power plant and thus it would be more efficient because the power would not have to travel far to get to the end user.
      (notice how high-wire lines are always buzzing?? That is electricity being lost).

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