Opinion: Make new buildings green

Apr 1, 2022

To the Editor: 

The proposed Marine Center and the new Department of Public Works facility were approved by the Marion Finance Committee and both facilities will appear on the warrant for the May 9 Annual Town Meeting. 

During the three years of planning for the DPW project, I have not read nor heard any discussion from Marion’s administrative leadership involving decarbonization, climate change, or energy efficiency investment opportunities that combined with clean heating technologies would provide deep emissions reductions in keeping with Governor Baker’s Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2030 based on the Commonwealth’s 2050 Decarbonization Roadmap.   

Even Town Administrator Jay McGrail at a recent Finance Committee meeting said, “My concern is that this hasn’t received a lot of publicity and that people really don’t know about it.” 

Today’s cost of dirty fossil fuels, with home heating oil $4.30 per gallon, makes investing in clean energy efficiency a prudent move ensuring buildings are more comfortable, affordable, and healthier environments in which to work. 

Given a building’s average lifespan of 50 to 60 years, imagine the millions upon millions of sunk costs Marion taxpayers will bear with current short-term thinking that is calling for antiquated energy technology in new buildings.  

Clean energy alternatives are less expensive than dirty ones, which means, it will now cost more to ruin the planet than to save it. Hopefully, Marion’s leadership will reconsider and take the courageous step, and make the moral and ethical decision to flip on the clean energy switch. 

Marion taxpayers should not trade hasty short-run economic gains for sensible long-run economic gains. In a few years, taxpayers could save a substantial amount of their financial resources by utilizing clean energy — solar, wind, and geothermal — for a more comfortable and affordable DPW facility and Marine Center.  

Eileen J. Marum