My Turn: Go big green | SierraSun.com
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My Turn: Go big green

Katy Zirbel

I have attended both recent TDPUD board meetings and think the dilemma of providing power to the Truckee area, both now and in the future, can be solved with some serious, creative, original thought. All of us, consumers, PUD staff and board members, need to stop focusing on what we cant do, how restricted our options are, how green we think we already are and start to embrace possibilities.I would hope that if there is anything we agree on, its this:How do we provide energy to this community now and in the future and NOT pollute the planet?I think we can find a way to provide our base power source with a whole lot more green than anyone is talking about. I actually think that if we worked on the solution creatively, compassionately and blew out all of our preconceived notions of what it might look like, Truckee could be 100 percent green. The only thing stopping us is that we just dont know how. And thats where the creative thinking comes in. Form a Creative Energy Committee. Get people involved. Think outside the proverbial box. We have enough talented, knowledgeable, dedicated people living right here to start to make a good, solid green plan for Truckee. I keep hearing that the PUD doesnt own or operate any power generation facilities. We should look at this. This area has tremendous potential for wind, solar, geothermal and biomass. These green technologies should be seriously studied and implemented. Lets get real its going to take more than a few solar tiles on one community building to make us truly green.You know what we really need is a go-to-the-moon challenge. Remember when our country was given that challenge. And what happened? We went to the moon. We didnt go half way there and turn around because someone remembered someone saying It cant be done. We didnt say we cant go to the moon because we have this contractual obligation to stay put on our own planet. We didnt say, Will never make it, the transmission lines dont go from here to there. We simply put all the creative, intelligent energy we had into the project and we went to the moon. All the way to the moon. And the nah-sayers ate crow. There was this really, really smart guy, who once said, A problem cannot be solved with the same consciousness that created it. That guy was Albert Einstein. I suppose he solved a few problems in his lifetime.We need to put aside our this is the way its always been done mentality. We need real leadership with a vision. Leadership thats not intimidated by new ways of doing things. Leadership that challenges us all to rise to our best.You know, call me an optimist, but there is always a silver lining to just about everything if we look for it. This 50-year coal contract unsigned of course was exactly what Truckee needed. The proposal has created the opportunity for all of us to start this dialogue. To start to seriously implement a responsible Power Plan for Truckee. Its gotten all of us out of our comfort zone. Thats when real change happens. If the board chooses to sign the 50-year contract, all the urgency to create a green town will be gone, an opportunity missed, back to business as usual. And I think by now we all know what that means for our planet.Katy Zirbel is a Truckee resident.


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