Topic: "Sludge Stimulus" (5)
The Atlanta Journal & Constitution asked two public figures the same question in order to elicit an opinion that was either pro or con to the issue at hand. Representative Jack Kingston (R-GA) who is continually re-elected by the same geographical community that gave us Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, answered "No" to the query, "Is the $787 Billion stimulus working.?"
Representative Kingston said, in part, "Walk down any street and ask a local business owner 'how's business?' You'll find that from pet shops to contractors and real estate agents to insurance salesmen, sales are down and times are tight. . . If government spending was the answer, we'd be in great shape, but it's not. Congress should focus on reducing the cost of doing business through selected small business tax cuts and regulatory relief. . ."
Frodo started to wad up the paper and toss it into the trash can, muttering about the same old sorry answers from Republicans, but decided against it. Instead, he asked himself, why not take the Congressman up on it, and survey the impact, if any, of the stimulus? After all, the President said to take dissenting opinions into consideration and to recognize that even a Republican from Savannah might be right once in his life.
The Men of Gondor visited a Sewage Treatment Plant currently under construction in the northern suburbs of Atlanta. The facility is scheduled to go on-line within a week. The design firm is a privately held company by the name of Brown & Caldwell. Frodo has no business association with the firm, although one of the Men of Gondor is an employee of the firm, and conducted Frodo and his friends on the tour. The gargantuan task of design, coordinate, and implement a facility of this magnitude is a tribute to the efforts of Brown & Caldwell. One cannot help but marvel at the patience and professionalism exhibited in public meetings, the hiring of sub-contractors, and the multiplicitous tasks which this company confronts in winning a job, and successfully completing the assignment.
In sum, the facility will produce clean, potable water for a part of Middle Earth that cannot get enough. The process requires the separation of all waste matter, both solid and gaseous, from the water that is returned into the Chattahoochee River. At present, the solid "sludge" which is captured in the process is loaded into specially-designed trucks and hauled to nearby landfills. Being engineers, Brown & Caldwell have been analyzing the sludge, in order to determine if there is a higher use of the solid matter than simply returning it to the earth.
Brown & Caldwell currently is a customer of Georgia Power. Everything from lightbulbs to back-up generators at all similar facilities are powered by the good works of Georgia Power. Brown & Caldwell has now devised a method to use methane gas, produced by burning the sludge in special ovens, to provide all of the power that is required to provide electricity to plants such as these. Frodo, upon hearing this, immediately raised his hand to inquire about the application of this technology for stimulus funding since the obvious benefits to reduce the costs of these facilities and to lessen the demand for conventional electric power seem tailor-made for the intent of the program.
Frodo learned, to his chagrin, that the concept had been in development for several years, and the theoreticals have all been completed. However, the availability of stimulus funding means that Brown & Caldwell can begin to implement this "sludge technology" a full THREE YEARS ahead of the timetable that existed before the stimulus was approved. In other words, probably the very next facility they design and build will produce its own power, from poop.
It is Frodo's fond desire to shine a flashlight into either of Mr. Kingston's ears, in order to prove that , once again, there is nothing between them.
Pass it on, dear reader, the next time some "dimwit" tells you the stimulus is not working, tell them you can prove it is. Business may, indeed, suck, but as long as there are companies like Brown & Caldwell, with brains and know-how, we'll be jes fine.
Now, if we can just find a way to use the waste material put out by Representative Kingston?