Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Green Economic Development

As a follow up to the post here, I wanted to address the very real possibility of a functional "green" economic development policy being... erm... developed. Indeed, with the fifth anniversary of September 11th already in the past, it becomes obvious that our dependence on foreign sources of energy is a hindrance to our anti-terrorism policies. This alone should be a motivating factor in embracing a total energy efficiency policy.

The City of Pittsburgh has some significant opportunities in this arena, including, but not limited to, the presence of several professional organizations, the availability of urban infill development, and the capacity for innovation. The question is, however, given all of that, how exactly should we pursue a policy that makes us more "green", thereby reducing our reliance on foreign energy?

A couple of broad (really broad... broad like the ocean broad) recommendations from somebody that is blitz out of her mind on Victory Hops Ale:

(1) Across all City departments, establish a clear energy and "green" policy for internal and operational purposes;
(2) Across all City departments, establish a clear energy and "green" policy for external and contractual purposes;
(3) Establish market driven incentives to further and enhance goals 1 and 2.

Seems simple enough, eh? But when you get down to the nitty-gritty details, you can see that, at least in the short run, you're going to have some significant trade offs to make and some significant policy choices that may drive off those that are more attuned to the short term bottom line (rather than the long term outcomes).

Still, with some competitive advantages at hand, it seems silly for the City not to build on something like this.

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