Energy efficiency achievable in more than one way

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    In a recent study conducted by Virginia’s George Mason University, known as the index of personal and economic freedom, Texas ranked as the fifth most free state in the nation. The index took into account a wide variety of laws and ordinances that range from prohibiting alcohol sales on Sundays to the strength of a state government’s asset forfeiture laws.

    While some might point fingers at conservative small government being the cause of many of America’s ills and that it espouses individual achievement at the expense of the common good, an Environmental Protection Agency study has recognized Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth as having some of the most energy-efficient buildings in America.

    Houston ranks third and Dallas-Fort Worth fifth on the list.

    Texas has just as many cities in the top 10 as does California, with Los Angeles and San Francisco occupying the top two positions. The Golden State ranked 47th in George Mason’s freedom index, with stringent gun laws, motor vehicle and smoking ordinances cited as strikes against personal freedom.

    These results should be seen as an indicator that there is no one truly right political philosophy. Conservatism and liberalism have yielded positive results in the green movement in two different states. What’s good for the goose isn’t always good for the gander.

    Maybe the conservatives made energy-efficient buildings for the economic incentive, which USA Today reports use 35 percent less energy, thus saving money. Maybe the liberals made energy-efficient buildings to cut down on greenhouse gases and save the planet.

    Regardless of the means, desirable ends have been met on both states on opposite ends of the spectrum. Whether motivated by personal gain or the good of our fellow man, America’s political ideologies frequently lead to positive results.

    Associate editor David Hall for the editorial board.