Letters to the Editor

High-energy project should be reconsidered

NPR had an article on lighting this last week that stated, “The Environmental Protection Agency says that if every household replaced just one incandescent bulb with an ‘Energy Star’-rated LED or CFL (compact fluorescent), Americans would save close to $700 million per year in energy costs.”

Last week I visited the Bullitt Center in Seattle — a certified “living building” — the greenest commercial building in the world where they produce the energy they use in the building, collect and filter the water they use and treat their sewage on site. Commercial tenants are given an energy budget that may limit them to two or three laptops. Some of the tenants have had to eliminate their large-screen monitors because they used too much energy.

I agree with so many of our community members who spoke at this last week’s K2 meeting: I would really like to see the derelict K2 building put to some good use, and the prospect of new jobs is very good news. But I am also concerned about the tremendous increase in energy use required to grow so much marijuana indoors. As Joe Yarkin noted, the production of a pound of marijuana requires nearly 2,000 times more energy than the production of a pound of aluminum — a huge use of energy considering the scale of the proposed operation.

If Vashon still hopes to become a sustainable community, how can we balance our island energy budget while engaging such an energy-intensive enterprise? Isn’t our carbon footprint worth considering? It certainly seems worthwhile for this community to take a little time to consider the responsible path forward.

— David Warren

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