Comment from Wong, Ella
I would just like to support Mary Vogel's comments from Oct. 14, 2009.
I'm Mary Vogel and I live in downtown Portland in a studio apartment where I
have never paid more than $16/mo for power since I moved in last March. Thank
you for holding your hearing in a place that I could easily walk to as I
walk or bike nearly everywhere I go these days.
I agree with Angus Duncan in both his praise for the Council and its hard
work--and its failure of imagination. Like Mr. Duncan, I have paid
attention to Council activities since arriving in Oregon in 1981 to work
with Oregon Appropriate Technology and monitor the Appropriate Technology
Grants program for the state--albeit my attention was more intermittent than
Below, I want to suggest some questions you might ask to stir imagination:
* What if we put a great deal more emphasis on locally produced, locally
distributed renewable energy resources (renewable district energy) and
paired it with aggressive implementation of smart grid technology as well as
smart growth policy?
* What if we made it easier for the above to become community-owned, RATHER
THAN investor-owned by a centralized profit-oriented utility?
* How much district energy emphasis would we need to reduce the need for
the proliferation of NEW high voltage power transmission lines that damage
our health and our landscape?
* Would denser communities be more likely to provide locally produced,
locally distributed renewable district energy?
* What if we added urban form and urban design into the strategies for
* What if the Power Council joined with entities like Oregon Metro to call
demonstrably for holding Urban Growth Boundaries and creating walkable
neighborhoods in states that have them, and instituting UGBs/walkable
neighborhoods in states that do not?"
My attendance yesterday (Oct 13) at Portland's First Annual EcoDistrict
Summit as a representative of the Portland Downtown Neighborhood Association
showed me that I am not just whistling in the wind by suggesting that you
ask these questions. There I heard from designers, entrepreneurs and
bureaucrats who are actually implementing renewable district energy. I
heard from people who are planning to implement a great deal more. As
others have said tonight, the technology is already there. Now lets have
the imagination and the political will.
Mary Vogel, Principal
Toward a Sustainable Urban Ecosystem
A WBE/ESB in Oregon