Endorsing Geothermal Technology
House Bill 665, sponsored by Maryland Delegate Kumar Barve, Chair of the Energy and Transportation Committee, would require that new construction of public schools and state buildings use geothermal energy. Helping him make his case at a hearing before the House Appropriations Committee in late February was his legislative intern from Washington College, political science major Diana Sanchez ’20.
In her testimony, Sanchez described Washington College’s four geothermal field installations and the energy cost savings associated with using this green technology to heat and cool College’s facilities. The 12 campus buildings served by geothermal systems account for nearly a third of the College’s square footage, Sanchez told the committee members, and represent a 50-70% reduction in energy costs.
“I was very excited to testify because I thought it would be a great introduction into the political arena,” says Sanchez, who is now considering a career in public service, including a run for a seat in a state legislature.
The internship has given her a greater appreciation of the impact state-level politicians have on the day-to-day experiences of their constituents. She learned how valuable constituents and their opinions are to politicians. And most importantly, she learned just how much her vote matters.
“Politicians do care about what their constituents think, and take their opinions into consideration,” she says. “Going forward, I plan to become more informed on the policies that are being presented in the state legislature and make my opinion as a constituent heard.”
Link to testimony here.