He’s already earned some cred with the local food movement, and now our man in Washington, Tom Perriello, is looking to get the love from the Fifth District’s energy crowd. Read all about his Congressional earmark requests here (or, for the entire $151.2 million list, download the PDF from Perriello’s site). They include almost $2 million for electric plug-in vehicle technology, $4.4 million for landfill gas reclamation around the Southside, $750,000 for green job training in Danville, and $600,000 for an energy-efficient fire station in Drakes Branch.
"I do solemnly swear to bring home the green for green projects."
Of course, Congress still has to pass the appropriations bill to which these earmarks are attached. But Perriello no doubt wants you to know that he’s asking for the money, even as he attempts to reform the earmark process itself. That’s not to say every Perriello earmark is great for the planet: Expanding natural gas service in Rocky Mount, for example, is meant to create jobs, not save the world.
Meanwhile, the congressman has already secured nearly $3 million in federal money to weatherize local homes. This is good news. I’ve watched energy-efficiency experts over the past few years practically begging people to make the investment in tighter houses, and though that investment is inarguably a smart one, a lot of people just don’t have the cash to do it. When you consider that individual homeowners can get up to $6,500 through this program, you can see how such sums are beyond the reach of vulnerable people—who, by the way, are rather more likely to live in drafty houses in the first place.
So far, I find Perriello pretty convincing on the enviro front, given that he’s a major party politician. He’s not exactly Wendell Berry, but he’s doing some good things. What do you all think?