Thursday, March 20, 2008

Local Elections & The Environment

With all the ineptitude of the Federal government to enact reasonable or responsible energy policy, perhaps we've forgotten the old adage that 'all politics are local'. Representative Strama's helped enforce this point, as did Mr. Baker from Austin Energy.  So while many of the issues facing the environment or our energy issues need to be resolved on a national level, there is much that can also be accomplished at a local level.  Given that Austin is scheduled to participate in another election in May for our City Council, I wanted to pass along this questionnaire that I recently read on the Burnt Orange Report that the Texas Environmental Democrats of Texas presented to the City Council candidates.

Here are the questions:
  1. Will you commit to implementing and funding a "zero-waste" program to eliminate or greatly reduce our need for landfills? 
  2. Will you build a new landfill on land the city owns near Webberville? 
  3. Will you support investing in additional nuclear reactors at our site in South Texas? 
  4. How would you implement and fund Mayor Wynn's Climate Protection Plan over the next three years? 
  5. Will you support Envision Central Texas's goal of building density in the center city as opposed to over the aquifer? How would you achieve neighborhood buy-in for this infill? 
  6. Do you support the latest modification (redevelopment overlay) to the Save Our Springs ordinance? Why/Why Not? 
  7. How should the city deal with the problem of undeveloped site plans and partially built subdivisions grandfathered from current city water quality ordinances? 
  8. What is your position on the construction of SH 45 over sensitive aquifer protection land? 
  9. Do you support TxDOT's plan for a six-lane elevated tollway with six frontage road lanes through the 'Y' in Oak Hill? Will you fight for the community-supported alternative, 
  10. What is your solution to the growing demand for water in the Austin metro area? Do you support the construction of Water Treatment Plant #4 as currently conceived? 
  11. Do you believe the current stakeholder notification system for site plan submissions and modifications gives stakeholders all the information they need to understand the environmental effects of a development? What information would you add? 
  12. What is your vision for the Waller Creek Tunnel Project? 
  13. Based on what you know today, do you believe global warming is caused in significant part by human activities?

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