Colorado's leading energy provider, Xcel Energy, Inc., is moving into a nationwide leadership position by actively replacing coal plants with a mixture of natural gas, wind and solar plants. Colorado's Public Utilities Commission is also inspiring the state's energy providers to build the state's first concentrated solar power plant that uses materials like molten salt to store the power of the sun's heat for hours after sunset. This is the kind of solar power plant I will work to bring to Washington County as a County Commissioner, in partnership with private enterprise and government decision makers.
The momentum is growing, our pace is quickening, the endorsements and donations are rolling in (we've raised over $16,000!) and our volunteers are getting ready for the campaign prime time. We've organized 11 great ways for you to join in the fun and help build the great momentum we're feeling all around the County (be sure to wear your t-shirt or pick one up at the event).
Dixie State College "Dorm Storm": Sunday, August 24th, 4 p.m. til ?, pass out After Party postcard invites to students who are moving in. MEET directly below the Dixie State College Fine Arts Building mural (near the tall fountain) at 4 p.m. for FREE ICE CREAM before the Dorm Storm.
Campaign Committee strategy session: Tuesday, August 26th, 1 p.m., help us be strategic and get stuff done! MEET: St. George Library basement conference room.
Dixie State College "Rush Week": Wednesday & Thursday, August 27th & 28th, 8 a.m. til 1 p.m., help with voter registration and getting students excited to Get Out The Vote for Lin Alder. MEET on the diagonal sidewalk south of the Dixie State College Browning Building (you will need to park off campus to avoid a ticket).
Hurricane Peach Days Festival: Friday, August 29th, 5 p.m. til dark, help pass out flyers and get festival goers excited to Vote for Lin Alder. MEET at the northeast area of the Hurricane Elementary school yard on State Road 9 (downtown Hurricane) and look for the Lin Alder/Lyman Whitaker booth.
Hurricane Peach Days Parade: Saturday, August 30th, 8:00 a.m., be your own rock star in a small town parade, throw candy to the kids and pass out fliers to the adults. MEET at 100 South and Main Street (by the Chums Building and Main Street Cafe).
Hurricane Peach Days Festival: Saturday, August 30th, 8:30 a.m. til 2 p.m., help pass out fliers and get festival goers excited to Vote for Lin Alder. MEET at the northeast area of the Hurricane Elementary on State Road 9 (downtown Hurricane) and look for the Lin Alder/Lyman Whitaker booth.
Sign Posting Party: Tuesday, September 2, 1:30 p.m. til ??, help put up signs across western Washington County (St. George, etc) with members of Brooks Pace and Terry Moore's committees. MEET at the Ancestor Square Tower Building (parking lot side). Bring gloves, water, a snack and any of the following tools hammer, rubber mallet, cordless drill, fence post pounder. If you have a truck that you're willing to drive or lend, please let Lin know via email before August 30th. FREE FOOD! Please RSVP by Friday August 29th if you'd like to stay for a fun dinner get together.
St. George Community Meet & Greet: Tuesday, September 2, 6 p.m., co-hosted by Karl & Karla Brooks, Doug & Elaine Alder and Ellie Perelli. Invite your friends to this no-stress event and enjoy the light refreshments while Lin earns their vote. MEET: St. George Library basement conference room.
Sign Posting Party: Wednesday, September 3, 9 a.m. til 1 p.m., help put up signs across eastern Washington County (Hurricane, Springdale, etc) with members of Lyman Whitaker's committee. MEET at the Farmers Market in LaVerkin. Bring gloves, water, a snack and any of the following tools hammer, rubber mallet, cordless drill, fence post pounder. If you have a truck that you're willing to drive or lend, please let Lin know via email before August 30th. FREE FOOD! Please RSVP by Saturday August 30th if you'd like to stay for a fun lunch get together.
Sign Posting Party: Wednesday, September 3, 3 p.m. til ??, help put up signs across western Washington County (St. George, etc) with members of Brooks Pace and Terry Moore's committees. MEET at the Ancestor Square Tower Building (parking lot side). Bring gloves, water, a snack and any of the following tools hammer, rubber mallet, cordless drill, fence post pounder. If you have a truck that you're willing to drive or lend, please let Lin know via email before August 30th. FREE FOOD! Please RSVP by Friday August 29th if you'd like to stay for a fun dinner get together.
Thanks for helping us bring positive Energy for Our Future in Washington County,
As Washington County Commissioner, I would follow the lead of Xcel, Colorado's equivalent to Rocky Mountain Power. I would engage business and legislative leaders in Salt Lake City and savvy investors in the energy sector to turn Washington County into Utah's leading producer of solar power. Because the summer sun spends the winter in Washington County, we have Utah's best potential for solar production. Now we need a leader who will help make this energy for the future a reality.
The Arctic Hotel in Ilulissat, Greenland, is a charming little place on the West Coast, but no one would ever confuse it for a Four Seasons — maybe a One Seasons. But when my wife and I walked back to our room after dinner the other night and turned down our dim hallway, the hall light went on. It was triggered by an energy-saving motion detector. Our toilet even had two different flushing powers depending on — how do I say this delicately — what exactly you're flushing. A two-gear toilet! I've never found any of this at an American hotel. Oh, if only we could be as energy efficient as Greenland!
A day later, I flew back to Denmark. After appointments here in Copenhagen, I was riding in a car back to my hotel at the 6 p.m. rush hour. And boy, you knew it was rush hour because 50 percent of the traffic in every intersection was bicycles. That is roughly the percentage of Danes who use two-wheelers to go to and from work or school every day here. If I lived in a city that had dedicated bike lanes everywhere, including one to the airport, I'd go to work that way, too. It means less traffic, less pollution and less obesity.
What was most impressive about this day, though, was that it was raining. No matter. The Danes simply donned rain jackets and pants for biking. If only we could be as energy smart as Denmark!
Unlike America, Denmark, which was so badly hammered by the 1973 Arab oil embargo that it banned all Sunday driving for a while, responded to that crisis in such a sustained, focused and systematic way that today it is energy independent. (And it didn't happen by Danish politicians making their people stupid by telling them the solution was simply more offshore drilling.)
What was the trick? To be sure, Denmark is much smaller than us and was lucky to discover some oil in the North Sea. But despite that, Danes imposed on themselves a set of gasoline taxes, CO2 taxes and building-and-appliance efficiency standards that allowed them to grow their economy — while barely growing their energy consumption — and gave birth to a Danish clean-power industry that is one of the most competitive in the world today. Denmark today gets nearly 20 percent of its electricity from wind. America? About 1 percent.
And did Danes suffer from their government shaping the market with energy taxes to stimulate innovations in clean power? In one word, said Connie Hedegaard, Denmark's minister of climate and energy: "No." It just forced them to innovate more — like the way Danes recycle waste heat from their coal-fired power plants and use it for home heating and hot water, or the way they incinerate their trash in central stations to provide home heating. (There are virtually no landfills here.)
There is little whining here about Denmark having $10-a-gallon gasoline because of high energy taxes. The shaping of the market with high energy standards and taxes on fossil fuels by the Danish government has actually had "a positive impact on job creation," added Hedegaard. "For example, the wind industry — it was nothing in the 1970s. Today, one-third of all terrestrial wind turbines in the world come from Denmark." In the last 10 years, Denmark's exports of energy efficiency products have tripled. Energy technology exports rose 8 percent in 2007 to more than $10.5 billion in 2006, compared with a 2 percent rise in 2007 for Danish exports as a whole.
"It is one of our fastest-growing export areas," said Hedegaard. It is one reason that unemployment in Denmark today is 1.6 percent. In 1973, said Hedegaard, "we got 99 percent of our energy from the Middle East. Today it is zero."
Frankly, when you compare how America has responded to the 1973 oil shock and how Denmark has responded, we look pathetic.
"I have observed that in all other countries, including in America, people are complaining about how prices of [gasoline] are going up," Denmark's prime minister, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, told me. "The cure is not to reduce the price, but, on the contrary, to raise it even higher to break our addiction to oil. We are going to introduce a new tax reform in the direction of even higher taxation on energy and the revenue generated on that will be used to cut taxes on personal income — so we will improve incentives to work and improve incentives to save energy and develop renewable energy."
Because it was smart taxes and incentives that spurred Danish energy companies to innovate, Ditlev Engel, the president of Vestas — Denmark's and the world's biggest wind turbine company — told me that he simply can't understand how the U.S. Congress could have just failed to extend the production tax credits for wind development in America.
Why should you care?
"We've had 35 new competitors coming out of China in the last 18 months," said Engel, "and not one out of the U.S."
A current hot topic in Washington County is the increased property tax revenues recently allotted to the Washington County School District.
Growth is expensive, especially when it comes to paying for schools, roads and other infrastructure. People here in Washington County are finding out just how expensive it is to
live here as a result of uncontrolled growth. Funding education in the community is essential, and there should be no compromises made. However, quality growth planning can help minimize the need for tax increases and, if elected, I will work hard to plan better and keep the county's expenses to a minimum so future tax increases won't be needed.
Check out this article from the Spectrum to hear what people are saying: