- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 19, 2007

House Democratic leaders this afternoon adopted an “aggressive” blueprint for making the U.S. Capitol “carbon neutral,” including a recommendation the government buy carbon credits to offset greenhouse gas emissions estimated to equal 17,000 cars.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, said the House office buildings have begun switching out 12,000 light bulbs as part of the “Green the Capitol” initiative.

“Global warming is one of the biggest challenges of our time … it’s time for Congress to act on its own carbon footprint,” she said, pointing to the glare emitted by the new fluorescent bulbs in her conference room chandelier.

She said the Capitol complex can be carbon neutral by the end of the 110th Congress in 2008.

Mrs. Pelosi joined Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland and Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, Florida Democrat, to detail the preliminary report, authored by chief administrative officer Daniel P. Beard and first outlined on The Washington Times Web site yesterday.

Mr. Beard said his recommendations would cut 57,000 tons of carbon emissions but that lawmakers would need to spend between $100,000 and $900,000 to purchase carbon offsets. Mrs. Pelosi did not answer a question about where that money would come from, but said the government would ultimately save by implementing Mr. Beard’s ideas.

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