Gassing up the “Green” Way

10 09 2009

Connecticut, the richest state in the country, is not widely recognized for its environmental efforts.

That will hopefully change soon.

The city of New Britain became the first school district in the state to make its bus fleet green by purchasing a hybrid school bus in April.

According to a recent story in the Hartford Courant supplement, “I-Towns” , the bus uses up to 65 percent less diesel fuel than a typical school bus. The bus gets its power from an outlet at the high school and its battery recharges through the solar panel array on the roof.

New Britain’s purchase of the hybrid bus is directly in line with President Obama’s environmental agenda, which urges the use of alternative energy sources.  According to the website, childrentoday. com, school buses are potentially dangerous and harmful to school children because  the diesiel exhaust comprises various cancer-causing agents.

Saving the environment comes at a cost. Although hybrid school buses are more environmentally friendly, they are also more costly than regular school buses. The grant used to purchase the bus  was acquired through the Connecticut Department of Transportation’s Clean Fuel program and cost $105,600. That’s a lot of money for one school bus, but   surely the richest state in the union can handle the cost, right?

Since the economy is very unstable right now, some feel that this wasn’t a sound investment. Personally, I have seen the benefits of green technology and I think New Britain made a wise purchase, but only time will tell. I think other school districts in the state should follow New Britain’s lead.

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