The Greenpocrisy of Congress: Canceling 'Carbon Offset' Buys for Congress' Power Plant

Go “green” or go out of business. That is the message Congress wants to send to America’s power plants run by coal — and any and every other power facility for that matter. Congressmen after Congressmen have waddled forth onto TV and into print to wag a green finger at our power grid scolding it for being “too dirty” and not environmentally friendly. These politicians, you see, know better and they must be listened to. After all, they are trying to save the planet!

And to show how the folks walking the marbled halls of the nation’s capitol care about the environment they are canceling the buying of so-called “carbon offsets” and announcing that they are abandoning efforts to further “green” the aging coal powered power plant that keeps the lights on, cools its halls, and heats Congress in the summer.

Yes, while they are attempting to force the lowly, great-unwashed people of the country to “go green,” they themselves are abandoning their own efforts to do so. The folks of the Democrat controlled Congress are nothing short of green hypocrites, see them at their greenpocrisy.

Congress has converted the Congressional power plant from an all coal plant to one that now uses only 35% coal to create the power to run our Congressional facilities. So, they have taken some efforts to green the plant. To become “carbon neutral” Congress had been buying those mythical “carbon offsets” to supposedly zero out the plant’s emissions.

But, no more. Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid’s Congress announced that the buying of offsets is over and that they will not pursue any further efforts to wean the plant off coal completely, to be replaced by an all gas powered facility. A letter has been sent to look into the matter, but no plans are now on the drawing board.

The reason that conversion to an all gas power source is being held up is the costs. Estimates are that it would cost between $6 and $7 million to convert the plant to all natural gas. And if they say $7 million, with the penchant for overruns that government projects tend toward due to union excess and the like, we can surely expect that to double.

The cessation of the purchase of carbon offsets is also predicated on the extreme costs. In 2008, Congress spent $89,000 for such offsets but the cost are now deemed too high. There is one other problem with the concept of buying offsets. Congress admits that they don’t even know if it does anything. (my bold)

Offsetting the power plant’s emissions by investing in projects that reduce carbon elsewhere also doesn’t look like a viable option. The House spent $89,000 in 2007 and 2008 in part to cancel out the remaining portion of its carbon dioxide emissions at the plant. But on Friday the House said it would no longer purchase offsets because there is no way to verify whether the investment actually results in carbon neutrality.

There is another aspect of this report that tends to speak to the hypocrisy of members of Congress that advocate for all this “green” nonsense. The technology doesn’t really even exist and/or is so expensive that it simply cannot be approached.

The plant’s story is one that is likely to play out across the United States as Congress looks to limit greenhouse gases and require more of the country’s energy to come from wind, solar and other renewable sources.

The issues hampering the cleanup — politics, cost and technological barriers — could trip up similar efforts elsewhere. The U.S. counts on coal-fired power plants for about half of its electricity; the plants are also the biggest source of heat-trapping gases.

So, while Congress is giving the cold shoulder to our power grid and attempting to force private companies to employ technology that does not exist, schemes like “carbon offsets” that are not verifiably effective, all at costs that are prohibitive, Congress itself is waving its collective hand dismissing the same sort of efforts for its own power plant.

Once again we have powerbrokers that so casually seem to say “yea for me, but not for thee” to we the people. We are forced by their laws to bankrupt our power companies for schemes of dubious effectiveness but they don’t feel the need to do so themselves.