Archive for October 3rd, 2008

by Pete Talbot

PSC candidate Doug Mood voted against Missoula’s Green Taxi. While this isn’t as big an issue as, say, his vote to deregulate Montana Power when he was in the legislature, it tells us a lot about his mindset.

The Montana Public Service Commission regulates a bunch of stuff, including public transportation: buses, taxis and the like. Along with fellow regressive Brad Molnar, incumbent Mood said “no” to granting a permit to Green Taxi. Fortunately, the other three commissioners said “yes.”

I spoke to a visitor who had just taken the Green Taxi. His name is David Payne and he was in town to speak about “sustainable venturing.” He’s a professor and consultant on sustainable business issues, and talks to folks in the organic food, green building and alternative energy industries. He was checking out some of Missoula’s green ventures.

He said that the taxi got 43 mpg around town, in stop-and-go traffic, with the air conditioning on.

Now this alone may not make us energy independent or reverse climate change, but it’s the kind of trend that will drive a new wave of entrepreneurs, and Lord knows, we could use a little innovative thinking in this stalled economy.

Of course, we’ll need some leadership, and some progressive legislation, to advance this sort of thinking. Doug Mood isn’t the guy for the job.

His opponent, Gail Gutsche, has the vision needed to navigate these new, rough energy, economic and envionmental waters. Remember her at the polls Nov. 4.

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