by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
These can’t be the headlines Georgetown University wanted.
Building the largest rooftop solar system installation in the District of Columbia was going to provide half of the university’s electricity needs with green energy. The solar project in La Plata, Maryland, would “reduce carbon emissions equivalent to 28 million pounds of coal or planting over 600,000 trees.”
They used all the right buzzwords when announcing the project two years ago. “Sustainability,” “community investment,” “carbon footprint reduction goals,” and “pursuit of environmental excellence and leadership.” The solar farm will even create 200 shovel ready jobs!
Instead, the university is being accused of “green-washing.”
“Georgetown wants to raze 210 acres of trees to meet green-energy goals,” the Washington Post reports. “Environmentalists are crying foul.”
“Environmentalists are in a position they never imagined: Fighting a solar panel project that would help Georgetown University dramatically reduce its greenhouse gas emissions,” the Post explains.
Actually, it’s not too difficult to imagine. Environmentalists aren’t exactly the rational, reasonable types. Who cares if your solar project amounts to planting 600,000 trees, when to build it you have to cut down 17?
“Green projects do not destroy green resources,” says Linda Redding, who according to the Post is leading a “determined group of environmentalists” opposing the project.
Does anything sound more fun than a gathering of “determined environmentalists”? I fear it doesn’t end well.