Taking the long view on energy planning

In the November 28 Richmond Times-Dispatch, Montpelier resident Sheryl Smith offered an insightful recommendation for America’s energy policy:

America is at an energy crossroads. We need to decide where to invest our energy money for our future. Should our government spend more money to develop new sources of oil and natural gas? Or should we look further into the future and plan now for the days when the dwindling supplies will be spent?I’ve been reading in

The Times-Dispatch about the possible leasing of areas for offshore drilling in Virginia. I believe that with strict environmental standards, offshore drilling should not be a problem. However, neither the state nor the federal government should finance or subsidize this drilling in any way. If there is a profit to be made by the oil and natural gas companies, let them drill for it, but none of our tax dollars should be spent on the technologies of the past. Our government needs to invest in the energy of the future.

By moving our government dollars toward renewable energy development and away from supporting oil and coal, we can create a better long-term future. Repowering America would mean new industries with high-paying domestic green jobs, lower energy costs, and replacing coal and oil with clean domestic energy that is free and limitless. We can’t do this overnight, but we need to shift our government support now from the old ways to the future. Wouldn’t it be nice to never hear about OPEC again?

Sheryl Smith

When citizens get involved . . .

In the November 11 edition of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Hanover County resident Jim Ellis commends to readers the invaluable role citizens play when they participate in charting the course–for a local, state or national community.

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Community Organizing Won this Campaign

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin now have the answers to the question they so ungraciously posed at the Republican National Convention: What do community organizers do?

The best-conceived, best-run presidential campaign in modern history. Three million first-time donors to a presidential campaign. Enduring dignity in the face of petty tactics. Unprecedented involvement from American youth. Crowds up to 100,000 strong gathering to hear a politician speak. Thousands of citizens introduced to the nuts and bolts of how to effectively run a political campaign. A new spirit as the people reconnect with their own government. A historic and absolutely unequivocal victory.

To answer the ungracious and sneering question in no uncertain terms: That is what community organizers do.

Jim Ellis. Mechanicsville.

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PDR Committee commences work

The Purchase of Development Rights (PDR) Committee began its work October 29 with a view to producing a recommended plan by December.

The committee, chaired by Supervisor Chuck McGhee, includes the following representatives from each of Hanover’s seven magisterial districts:

Ashland — Linwood Attkinson

Beaverdam — Leigh Pemberton

Chickahominy — Angela Kelly-Wiecek

Cold Harbor — Bernard J. Fisher

Henry — David Fauri

Mechanicsville — David Whitehurst

South Anna — Juliet Nisley

Purchase of development rights is a planning tool that can preserve land when the owner sells off the rights to develop. All other rights are retained and the land is placed in a conservation easement which conveys with the deed. PDRs are viewed as a way to preserve valuable farmland, historic tracts and natural areas.

The PDR Committee meetings are held in the Planning seminar room on the second floor of the County Administration Building and are open to the public. A date for a late November meeting will be announced soon.