Saturday, July 26, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Congress has natural source for hot air

For the last 99 years, the Capitol Power Plant, which provides steam for heat and hot water in congressional buildings, has had the distinction of being the only coal-burning facility in Washington D.C. Coal? In the capitol? What's next - late-night filibustering in the glow of candles and lanterns fueled by animal fat?

Congress has natural source for hot air

Jot this one down in the “Who knew?” category, courtesy of the Associated Press:

For the last 99 years, the Capitol Power Plant, which provides steam for heat and hot water in congressional buildings, has had the distinction of being the only coal-burning facility in Washington D.C.

Coal? In the capitol? What’s next – late-night filibustering in the glow of candles and lanterns fueled by animal fat?

The AP reports that the plant, powered by both coal and natural gas, has switched to natural-gas only  in an effort to reduce the carbon-pollution impact of Congress on the nation's capital.

"The Congress of the United States should not only be a model for the nation, but also a good neighbor," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

She was referring to the fact that the D.C. government has complained that the smoke- belching plant worsens air quality and has affected the respiratory health of residents and workers in the area, particularly children.

The plant hasn’t used coal since March. Sadly, Pelosi hasn’t been able to do a thing to curb the toxic hot fumes emitting from some gasbags in Congress.

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Signe Wilkinson draws the comic strip Family Tree, which follows the Tree family as they try to live green in the face of nattering neighbors, plastic-wrapped consumer products, and the primal teenage urge to spend vast quantities of money on hair care products of dubious organic quality.


In addition to these updates from our newsroom bloggers, watch for an occasional feature, Dumpster Diver Dispatches, from Philadelphia's original "green" community of artists, the Dumpster Divers. You'll learn about creative ways to reuse and recycle while you reduce, and about the artists who are making little masterpieces from what others throw out.

  • Dispatch #1: Margaret Giancola's rugs from plastic bags
  • Dispatch #2: Dumpster Divers in City Hall (Art in City Hall series)
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  • Dispatch #6: Green artists retake South Street Sunday
  • Dispatch #7: Isaiah Zagar: He's a Magic (Gardens) Man





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