Monday, November 17, 2008

Your money turning kids green 

One aspect of the creation of a leftist electorate has been the insistence of some legislators on creating environmentally friendly schools. One such leftist is DFLer Jeremy Kalin of North Branch, who is now flying around the country to create green school movements in each state.
Kalin, who has a background in building-design work, was the chief author of last year�s Energy Efficiency and Conservation bill, which set a goal of 1,000 Energy Star-certified and 100 LEED-certified commercial buildings in Minnesota by the end of 2010.

His green credentials caught the attention of the USGBC, which invited him to participate in Fifty for Fifty.

The program will provide state legislators with, among other things, �up-to-date information and developments� in green building trends, cost-benefit studies, and networking opportunities with other legislators around the country.

In Minnesota, green school advocates in the Legislature will work to make sure every new school building is working as efficiently as possible, Kalin said.

But existing schools are also a concern. Many districts throughout the state have antiquated boilers, leaky roofs and windows, and other energy-related flaws. In some cases it might make sense to renovate, but in other cases it might be more economical to build new, Kalin noted.
Kalin notes, alas, that Governor Pawlenty seems to be buying into this nonsense. I wonder how much these programs cost. In Nevada, they had similar requirements but the Legislature voted to repeal them when they realized how much these tax breaks cost. It ended up creating a row in that state. In a period where we may face $3-$4 billion in budget shortfall in Minnesota, should we be giving away money for building these green schools that do not meet the market test? And with them, you will get education programs that promote greenness. Yet construction firms and architects -- beneficiaries of public dollars -- are promoting this. How long before they realize that they are being duped into a program that will end up saying all building is bad unless it is public building of green, smart cities?

(In a related development, Littlest has picked up my copy of The Fountainhead.)

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