Goals versus reality

Last week, Nashua city leaders said they plan to completely eliminate coal, oil and natural gas from use in all municipal buildings and vehicles in an effort to go 100 percent fossil free.

“The devastating effects of climate change are on our doorstep, and we really need to start stepping up what we’re doing as a city, and as a country,” Nashua Alderwoman Shoshanna Kelly said.

Mayor Jim Donchess said Nashua will reach that goal by 2050. He said two other objectives are to reduce school, municipal building and infrastructure greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2025, and to reduce municipal vehicle emissions by 25 percent by 2025.

Donchess said he is committed to protecting the environment, reducing energy use and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In 2016, he signed on to become a “climate mayor” to uphold the terms of the Paris Climate Agreement.

We admire efforts by city officials to find alternative ways of energizing vehicles and infrastructure. Additional applications of solar power, hydropower and even wind power can be, over the long-term, economically beneficial for Nashua. The cost reduction would, of course, be in addition to the clear environmental benefits.

Nevertheless, we caution both city leaders and members of the public against being overly aggressive in the effort to “go green.” If such transitions from fossil fuels can be cost-effective, we support them.

We just ask city officials to consider the consequences of placing an excessive financial burden on taxpayers in the effort to eliminate fossil fuels.