Letter to the Editor:
Brewster's Green New Deal
At the upcoming Brewster 2019 Town Meeting in May residents will be asked to vote on the taxpayer money required to achieve a “Green Award”. Although the town has urgent financial issues that require attention, the well intentioned social justice warriors down at town hall feel a virtue signaling effort to save the planet should take priority.
If town government really wanted to create value they would lower our taxes instead of asking us for more money to promote their ideology. The fact is we could turn off the Brewster natural gas line, ban the internal combustion engine within Brewster town limits, and take the entire town off the electrical grid tomorrow and it wouldn't change the temperature of the planet … ever. But wait. It gets better.
An element of the “Green Award" requires the town implement “stretch building codes” upon its citizens. That's right, the town can continue to maintain their large carbon footprint by operating underutilized town buildings like the duplicate Elementary schools that serve a total of ~400 kids, but their citizens will be forced to over-insulate their homes going forward.
I can tell you first hand from my own recent home addition, the current stringent building code made insulation my largest building expense, and is already at the point of diminishing returns. I will never recoup the extra cost in fuel oil savings in my lifetime.
But wait, the town is not out of your wallet yet. Another requirement of earning the coveted “Green Award" and resisting the big orange man is buying a fleet of “low emission” vehicles. The ones you and I don't own because even the NYT reports they only make economic sense when gas hits $8. The $7500 Obama era tax credit helps ( you & I pay for this indirectly too), but it’s still just an expensive way to virtue signal when we have $2 gas. To confirm my theory next time you see a Prius look at the “resist / impeach / I’m with her" bumper stickers.
So if the well intentioned folks down at Brewster town hall really want to reduce the town's carbon emissions they should stay out of our homes, stay out of our wallets, and instead put a full court press on closing underutilized town buildings. The ill-conceived duplicate Elementary school is low hanging fruit.
Don't hold your breath.
Adam Lange, Brewster