“Treasury Harnesses the Power of Wind”

No joke, that is the headline of a bona fide e-mail from the Treasury. Whoever wrote this press release seems to have an insufficient appreciation of irony. The first paragraph:

To mark the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, the U.S. Department of the Treasury today announced that beginning July 31, 2010 the main Treasury building and the Treasury Department annex will use wind power to supply 100 percent of their energy demand. This comes on the heels of Treasury’s announcement earlier this week of an initiative to make a dramatic shift from paper to electronic transactions, a move that is expected to save more than $400 million and 12 million pounds of paper in the first five years alone. Together these two new initiatives will greatly reduce Treasury’s carbon footprint and overall environmental impact.

More here.

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    1. Cynthia

      Given that the folks at the Treasury are so full of hot air, I too am skeptical as to where their wind power is coming from.

      1. Jimbo

        Great. Instead of taxpayers about 8 cents a kilowatt hour for power, we’ll now be paying 25 cents.

  1. Brian Wells

    What is not apparent is whether all the hot air and hand waving is helping the Treasury’s energy balance.

    Once the conversion from bills to electrons is complete and the economic doldrums sets I expect there to be a lot of backpedaling on their bicycle generators as the mainframe shuts down for lack of electrons, credibility and patience.
    Take care,

  2. Peripheral Visionary

    Any idea when they will start harnessing the power of the printing press, or has that already happened?

  3. kevin de bruxelles

    I suppose its nice they are switching kind of sort of to wind power but it would be so much more impressive if they could show us that their buildings are actually consuming less energy than in years past. But in order to do this the government would have to overcome a deeper cultural problem that Americans are addicted to air conditioning.

    I specialize in designing green buildings and I can assure you the very low energy designs we get away with in Europe would never see the light of day in the US due to the fact that the temperatures may get a little bit warm in the summer months.

    Just walk around NYC in the summer. Shop after shop has their air conditioning on full blast with their entry doors wide open. Energy is going to have to get much more expensive before Americans start getting a clue on not wasting it.

  4. jbmoore

    There’s no wind turbine blade manufactured today that’s strong enough to withstand the gales erupting from Wall Street’s and Treasury’s spinmeisters. And digitizing all of your paper makes it easier to bury it, shred it, and lose it on tape or hard drives. Ask NASA about electronic media archiving when they lost the original Moon Landing tapes with the original data. If a science and engineering government agency can lose the magnetic records containing the original data of the most significant event in the 20th Century, Treasury is bound to surpass even NASA when it comes to data retention snafus.

  5. charles

    Timmie is becoming more and more PC, something must be cooking, it must be hard to get rid of deference to Wall Street, so why not do another ‘spin’on Earth’s day ? Harnessing the wave, too late, I fear ( the European press
    is reporting his speech on ABC, I guessed they missed the Congress’Lehman hearings ). Bill Black or Elizabeth Warren for Treasury. ‘Capping liabilities’ starts by Timmie going back home…

  6. Bob Falfa

    I’m guessing Timmah’s gonna answer yes when TurboTax asks if he qualifies for renewable energy credits.

  7. BillyD

    “…initiative to make a dramatic shift from paper to electronic transactions, a move that is expected to save more than $400 million and 12 million pounds of paper”

    Almost every company I have worked for did this in the 90’s… did they really issue a press release lauding how backwards, inefficient and wasteful they have been with taxpayers money for the last 10-15 years? Nice!

    By the way, announcing that they will use 100% wind power is announcing that they are planning to overpay for electricity…

    I love how government departments feel the need to issue press releases and take symbolic actions rather than do anything of substance.

  8. fresno dan

    I thought they got all their energy from methane from all the bullsh*t decomposing at the place.

  9. bob k

    Being from Chicago, I know that it is called the Windy City because of all the hot air blown in City Hall. That’s probably the kind of wind Treasury is harnassing too.

  10. skippy

    As the great philosopher Wanyne said…”it both Sucks AND Blows”.

    Skippy…play time is very important…thanks Yves!

  11. TimOfEngland

    Yves, spot on, having read the comments, Americans and irony are just not happy bedfellows :)

    1. skippy

      G’Day TimOEng…irony you say…how about the leader of the world’s largest military industrial complex IS promoting Earth Day lolololol.

      The largest polluter on the planet ever[!] hell they fertilizer other countries with depleted uranium…earth day…my marsupial backside ROFL.

  12. charles 2

    And when the wind doesn’t blow, they stop paying civil servant ? Now THAT would be a real cost cutting measure !

  13. Doug

    I don’t know what everyone is complaining about. There are plenty of green shoots in the economy and the stock market is CRANKING! Yeah baybe! Gimme gimme – this is what I’ve been waiting for! Once the discontent here dies down – that is time to go short. Or, once posts start to appear that laud the efforts of the FED to revive the economy.

  14. Freethinker

    A note on the Treasury Dept’s plans to massively reduce paper usage. This latest initiative stems from the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996. This legislation requires the use of electronic funds transfer (EFT) for most Federal payments, with the exception of tax refunds, starting January 2, 1999.

    Over the next several years, the Treasury Department will make the use of electronic funds deposit or debit cards mandatory for most recipients of Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (welfare). Excuse me for the cynicism, but this “initiative” seems to be less about environmental sensitivity and cost savings than about ensuring larger money flows (deposits and fees) to banks. Also, the cynic says, keep the name of the Act in mind when mulling over how this initiative is intended to improve debt collection.

    1. Black furry dog

      Actually i think the policy was less paper and less electronic communications, it was initiated under the ‘Those FOIA request are getting to be a real bother’ Act.

  15. Black furry dog

    WOW! Someone finally wised up and put a wind farm outside of little Timmy’s office, now we can make all that hot air useful!!!! ….and who said american ingenuity was gone? ….i wonder how much power we could get if we place another in the capital building… On an earth day note, I bet someone at the fed really regrets telling Chair-de-man Ben that the country needed to be more ‘Green’… they really should have explained it to him more clearly.

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