Memo to Pepco: Trees are not the problem

Friday, August 13, 2010

Regarding the Aug. 7 Metro article "Bigger they are, harder they fall":

I find it a bit rich for Pepco to blame mature trees for its troubles in restoring power after severe thunderstorms. While the property damage done by fallen trees is highly regrettable, blaming trees for the outages is fatuous and remarkably blinkered. Residential power cables should not be threaded through trees in the first place. They should, as they are in almost all other developed countries, be put underground.

Trees are part of the solution. Urban trees provide shade in summer (dramatically cutting power bills for those residences in their vicinity); help mitigate the violence in storms by absorbing wind energy and reducing the impact of torrential rains; and do their bit against climate change by absorbing carbon dioxide.

Power companies that are straining to keep costs down should be lauding trees as allies in promoting energy efficiency, not treating them as a nuisance for their outmoded power grids.

Steven Beller, Washington

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