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Yellowstone’s ‘green’ credentials overblown

2010-11-03T00:00:00Z Yellowstone’s ‘green’ credentials overblown The Billings Gazette
November 03, 2010 12:00 am

The Gazette editors dish out far too much praise for the National Park Service in “greening” Yellowstone (Opinion, Oct. 12). Many gasoline-powered maintenance vehicles are left idling while tasks are performed, such as cleaning rest rooms. Christmas lights in Mammoth burn for weeks and weeks, sometimes until February.

The daily bus transporting NPS employees from Livingston to Yellowstone with stops along the way is questionable in terms of cost benefit. Does the under-market bus fare really just work as a perk to green the pockets of overpaid federal employees? What is the actual cost of this “green” effort as our nation tumbles ever deeper in debt?

At the park, bus-riding workers seldom carpool in government vehicles. Heavy tandem dump trucks often travel empty from the Mammoth maintenance shop to the Norris gravel pit to haul gravel out of there to other points in the park. They then return to Mammoth empty, burning an exorbitant amount of fuel and pound the heck out of the roads on their 50-mile deadhead round trip.

To go “green,” truck crews should leave the trucks at the pit for the duration of the job and commute back and forth in crew-cab biodiesel pickup trucks. Motivated by profit, private-sector companies regularly do this. Going “green” only pays off through the use of common sense. Unfortunately, the NPS has none.

Environmental pet program LEED — Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design — in Yellowstone really stands for: Lackadaisical Environmental Energy Deployment.

Steve Torrey

Cody, Wyo.

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