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Thinking Outside The Box With Lt. Gov. Diane Denish (Updated)

October 21, 2009, 12:00 am
By Corey Pein
Governor Richardson and Diane Denish check out their gifts from Lawrence Rael, MRCOGThis just in:
LT. GOVERNOR DIANE DENISH CHALLENGES SCHOOL DISTRICTS TO SAVE MONEY

Santa Fe, NM – Lt. Governor Diane Denish will be meeting with New Mexico school superintendents tomorrow to discuss energy cost saving measures. Our school districts spend more than $60 million on energy costs per year.

I'm challenging each school district to cut its energy use by 10 percent because during these tough economic times we all need to think outside the box to save money and be more energy efficient. Making our schools more energy efficient will save millions of dollars per year and will send our students an important message about protecting our environment and energy resources. This measure alone won't fix our state's budget shortfall but it's an example of one creative measure we can take to be more fiscally responsible. We must find more like it," said Lt. Governor Diane Denish.

This must be some kind of first: A gubernatorial candidate trying to spin the fact that the state wants to turn down the thermostats on schoolkids—all because the current governor and party leaders want to keep tax breaks for the rich in effect—as an energy-saving measure. The message comes, of course, on the season's first day of snow in Santa Fe.

Here's a creative measure: Put on a sweater, kids. If it was good enough for your great-grandparents, its good enough for you.

Come to think of it, why does every student need his or her own textbook? Thirty should be able to share one just fine, if they take turns. Also, why bother with desks, when the students could just as well sit on the floor? The redundant books and desks can be used to fuel the fires the schoolchildren will have to learn to build in order to stay warm. How's that for out of the box?

Note: The Lt. Gov.'s "Quick Start to Energy Star Resources for School Districts" page has a bunch of broken links. Hope that site didn't cost $15,000.

Update 4:30 pm-ish: Denish spokeswoman Sam Thompson called to say that the links had been fixed. Also, that the nationwide Energy Star challenge "doesn't have anything to do with kids putting on a sweater." Rather, solar panels and the like.

"We are trying to get the school districts thinking about ways they can save energy," Thompson says. "It's one of those things that's almost low-hanging fruit...[and] it's quite a bit of money."

Fair enough.

 

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