Letter to Mary L. Landrieu, Lamar Alesander, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and Tom Latham from Terrell Dorn, Director, Physical Infrastructure Issues and Frank Rusco, Director, National Resources and Environment Regarding Economic and Other Implications of Switching from Coal to Natural Gas at the Capitol Power Plant and at Electricity-Generating Units Nationwide, May 1, 2008   [open pdf - 447KB]

"Elevated concentrations of greenhouse gases--carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and several synthetic chemicals--in the atmosphere resulting from the combustion of fossil fuels and other sources have the potential to cause significant changes in the earth's climate. These potential impacts include shifts in sea level and weather patterns and could pose threats to coastal and other infrastructure. Concerns about the potential impacts of climate change have led the Congress to consider legislation that would place binding, nationwide limits on greenhouse gas emissions, and the House of Representatives' leadership has initiated efforts to decrease emissions attributable to its operations. Nearly all of the greenhouse gas emissions from House operations consist of carbon dioxide and are associated with electricity purchased from utilities and the combustion of fossil fuels in the Capitol Power Plant (CPP), which provides steam and chilled water for heating and cooling the Capitol building and 23 surrounding facilities. The Architect of the Capitol (AOC) operates CPP. In June 2007, the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) of the House of Representatives released the Green the Capitol initiative (the initiative) at the direction of the Speaker and the Majority Leader. Among other goals, the initiative calls for the House of Representatives to operate in a carbon-neutral manner by the end of the 110th Congress (December 2008). Carbon-neutral, as defined in the initiative, means that operations produce no net contribution to greenhouse gas emissions. The initiative outlines several strategies to achieve the goal of carbon neutrality, including operating CPP with natural gas instead of coal to meet the needs of the House."

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Government Accountability Office: http://www.gao.gov/
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