It’s not something many people think about, but the place Congressmen spend the majority of their time needs to be heated and cooled just like any other building. Granted, there is a high volume of hot air flowing through the halls of the Capitol, however scientists have had trouble to this point in harnessing said energy. The task of HVAC for the congressional buildings over the last century has fallen to the Capitol Power Plant, which has just recently stopped burning coal. Natural gas has been used increasingly since March, and it has now supplanted the fossil fuel for good.
Many Americans see the demise of coal as the end of a chapter in our history that saw us surpass the rest of the world in power and authority, and that dispensing with such a valuable and profligate resource is a recipe for disaster. What those people do not realize is that those advocating for its continued, and expanded, use harp on a fantasy notion that many have taken to be real. “Clean Coal” is a figment of the Coal lobbies imagination, and simply exists to deflect the burdensome cost of coal on the average American. For more information on the truth about coal, take a look at ThisIsReality.org.
The Obama Administration has taken steps to make the government more environmentally sustainable by updating the car fleet to hybrids, and vowing to weatherize government buildings in the District of Columbia. However, one should note that the Capitol Power Plant did not switch its fuel to that of an alternative, like wind, solar, or biofuels, but rather natural gas.
This is a good start, but until Washington takes the threat of global warming serious and enacts serious policy that would tax polluters their fair share, we’ll just be left with more hot air.