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MBTA ‘values’ — really  

Credit:  By Boston Herald Editorial Staff, www.bostonherald.com 6 September 2011 ~~

Which “values” do you most prize in the people who run the MBTA?

The commitment to making the trains and buses run on time, safely, efficiently and at a reasonable cost to passengers?

Or the willingness to overlook cost at a nearly-bankrupt agency for the “greater good” – say, the cause of global warming?

Well, it looks like T board member Elizabeth Levin is with the polar bears.

“We may be broke, but I hope we have our values,” Levin said at a meeting of a board subcommittee last week, the State House News Service reported, during a discussion about the agency’s new $120 million energy contract. “I’m not excited about spending $120 million and separating from that discussion spending what I consider a relatively small amount for creating a safe environment for everyone near the T.”

Yes, it’s always a “relatively small amount.” In this case, Levin and other board members are asking for a new study of the transit system’s carbon emissions – and a full list of renewable energy options – before signing off on the contract to provide power to the T through 2016.

The T, of course, is drowning in debt – $8 billion in long-term debt, to be specific. And it is confronting a $160 million shortfall in its budget next year alone.

The contract already includes renewable energy options, according to acting general manager Jonathan Davis, and the T is taking other steps to reduce its energy costs. Two wind turbines are in the pipeline (using federal stimulus dollars) and the T is exploring solar, too.

As drafted, it is expected to save the agency $6 million by taking advantage of current, lower energy rates – savings that could mitigate the impact of that massive operating shortfall.

We’re sure T riders would see the value in that.

Source:  By Boston Herald Editorial Staff, www.bostonherald.com 6 September 2011

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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