F

Beyond Incrementalism: The Case of Arlington, Virginia

Peter Garforth, Principal, Garforth International, LLC

I am going to talk about buildings as components of a community, as opposed to stand-alone energy objects. Rather than speak in generalities, I will present specific information regarding the development of a community energy plan (CEP) for Arlington County, Virginia, just across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C.—in many ways a suburb within the greater Washington, D.C. metro area.

The Arlington County process for developing a community energy plan kicked off in January 2010 with a workshop for a senior-level and very engaged community task force, whose ongoing role would be to guide the CEP process. The energy and greenhouse gas emissions baseline was already complete. In March 2010, a Community Energy Plan Technical Working Group (TWG) was formed. This group includes experts from both North America and Europe, allowing the TWG to look at the world from two different perspectives. The TWG subsequently met with representatives from a wide range of stakeholders, including county government departments, property developers, the Chamber of Commerce, local gas and electric utilities, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, and federal representatives from the Pentagon. The task force endorsed some tough transformative goals based on global benchmarking. A first town hall meeting was held in April 2010. The TWG’s preliminary recommendations will be presented to the task force in September 2010, with a completion target for the CEP of March 2011.1

Arlington County’s effort is a response to a strong belief that communities will need to manage energy strategically to remain competitive in the face of rapidly accelerating global demand for energy.

On present trends, by 2030 the world’s energy demand could double from its 2000 levels. The newspaper headline for July 20, 2010, is that China is now a larger energy user than the United States.2 However one looks at the issue of energy—whether environmentally, socially, economically, or from a foreign policy angle—it is a major challenge. In essence, we are looking at a future in which fears generated by volatile prices, uncertain availability, and climate change are colliding to create a growing

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1The final draft of the Arlington County Community Energy and Sustainability Task Force report is available at http://www.arlingtonva.us/departments/DES-CEP/CommunityEnergyPlan/documents/file80565.pdf.

2See International Energy Agency, “China overtakes the United States to become world’s largest energy consumer,” July 20, 2010, at http://www.iea.org/index_info.asp?id=1479.



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F Beyond Incrementalism: The Case of Arlington, Virginia Peter Garforth, Principal, Garforth International, LLC I am going to talk about buildings as components of a community, as opposed to stand-alone energy objects. Rather than speak in generalities, I will present specific information regarding the development of a community energy plan (CEP) for Arlington County, Virginia, just across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C.—in many ways a suburb within the greater Washington, D.C. metro area. The Arlington County process for developing a community energy plan kicked off in January 2010 with a workshop for a senior-level and very engaged community task force, whose ongoing role would be to guide the CEP process. The energy and greenhouse gas emissions baseline was already complete. In March 2010, a Community Energy Plan Technical Working Group (TWG) was formed. This group includes experts from both North America and Europe, allowing the TWG to look at the world from two different perspectives. The TWG subsequently met with representatives from a wide range of stakehold- ers, including county government departments, property developers, the Chamber of Commerce, local gas and electric utilities, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, and federal representatives from the Pentagon. The task force endorsed some tough transformative goals based on global benchmarking. A first town hall meeting was held in April 2010. The TWG’s preliminary recommendations will be presented to the task force in September 2010, with a completion target for the CEP of March 2011. 1 Arlington County’s effort is a response to a strong belief that communities will need to manage energy strategically to remain competitive in the face of rapidly accelerating global demand for energy. On present trends, by 2030 the world’s energy demand could double from its 2000 levels. The newspaper headline for July 20, 2010, is that China is now a larger energy user than the United States. 2 However one looks at the issue of energy—whether environmentally, socially, economically, or from a foreign policy angle—it is a major challenge. In essence, we are looking at a future in which fears generated by volatile prices, uncertain availability, and climate change are colliding to create a growing 1 The final draft of the Arlington County Community Energy and Sustainability Task Force report is available at http://www.arlingtonva.us/ departments/DES-CEP/CommunityEnergyPlan/documents/file80565.pdf. 2 See International Energy Agency, “China overtakes the United States to become world’s largest energy consumer,” July 20, 2010, at http:// www.iea.org/index_info.asp?id=1479. 105

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106 ACHIEVING HIGH-PERFORMANCE FEDERAL FACILITIES TABLE F.1 Energy Productivity Differentials Gross Domestic Energy/Gross Population Product Energy Energy/Capita Domestic Product Region (% of World) (% of World) (% of World) (Index) (Index) United States 4.6 18.9 19.5 100 100 European Union 7.5 25.1 14.8 47 57 Japan 1.9 8.8 4.3 52 47 China 20.0 4.5 16.3 19 355 India 17.0 1.5 4.9 7 317 World 100.0 100.0 100.0 23 97 SOURCE: Data gathered by author from the International Energy Agency World Energy Statistics Web site (http://www.iea.org) and World Bank, World Development Indicators, 2007. Available at http://siteresources.worldbank.org/DATASTATISTICS/ Resources/WDI07section1-intro.pdf. public awareness of both the need for transformational changes around energy and the positive oppor- tunities created. The United States is spending roughly $1.5 trillion annually on energy. In terms of energy used to create a dollar of gross domestic product (GDP), if the index is 100 for the United States, the European Union is using 57 units of energy to generate the same dollar of GDP (Table F.1). At a macro level, this gap represents a competitive disadvantage, or productivity opportunity, of about $600 billion annually. It represents a major opportunity for the United States to use innovation to close the gap or even leapfrog ahead of other major industrialized nations. If we consider the three major sectors of energy use—industry, homes and buildings, and trans- portation—and index the performance of the United States on a unit basis against the performance of the European Union (they are comparably sized populations and economies: 310 million people in the United States, 494 million in the European Union, and a slightly bigger economy in Europe), then we see clearly different opportunities sector by sector (Table F.2). Industry has generally done a good job of globalizing energy productivity. Table F.2 indicates that an aluminum plant in the United States and in Germany are using about the same amount of energy to make a ton of the same product. Industry seems to have already learned that global best practice is a requirement to remain competitive and has developed approaches to manage sharing. In transporta- tion, there is a larger gap when measured per passenger-mile or per ton-mile. This gap is mainly due to heavier vehicles, less mass transit, and fewer high-performance diesels in the United States as compared to Europe. The most interesting opportunity for significant energy productivity gains is the 40 percent of all North American energy used in buildings of all types and all ages, both residential and nonresidential. TABLE F.2 Comparison of U.S. Energy Use to That of the European Union (EU), by Sector Index USA/EU (Indicative Ratio of Sector Share of Energy Use U.S. Average to EU Average) Industry 32 percent 1.2 : 1 Buildings 40 percent 2.5 : 1 Transportation 29 percent 1.4 : 1 SOURCE: Garforth International, LLC, estimates.

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107 APPENDIX F Even when adjusted for climate and service levels, this index is between two and three times higher in the United States than the average level in the European Union. It is easy to forget how dysfunctional the energy supply chain is, especially when we look at it at a community level, not at a building level. Some round numbers: 60 to 70 percent of the potential energy of a fuel is used up getting the energy services to a building, whether those fuel sources are wind, coal, uranium, or wood. Then, we put the energy itself through the buildings into the building systems for heating, cooling, lighting, and appliances, such as the computer and the coffee machine. If we’re lucky, we get 5 percent of the primary fuel calories as heat in the cup of coffee. So, that means we are basically spending $1.5 trillion to get about $150 billion to $200 billion worth of services. So, what does all this have to do with the community? Well, the community is the lowest level at which all these things come together and where it is possible to influence the energy outcomes as an energy system spanning fuel to final service—something that is hard to do effectively on an individual building basis. The Arlington County CEP is being built around three goals: competitiveness, security, and environment. Competitiveness is measured by energy cost, employment, and inbound investment. Indicators for security include supply reliability, supply quality, and flexibility. Environmental impact is measured by the reduction of energy-related greenhouse gas emissions. The county is looking at these three issues as balanced necessities to retain both competitiveness and overall quality of life, while significantly contributing to mitigating wider environmental issues. The 2007 baseline energy requirement of Arlington County was approximately 76 megawatt-hours- equivalent for every resident. Commercial buildings use half of the county’s energy, and residential buildings are using about 25 percent. Half of the energy going into commercial and residential buildings is from the conversion losses in generating and transporting electricity incurred outside the community. The energy used to get electricity to the community accounts for the largest single portion of the total use. Energy-related greenhouse gas emissions in Arlington County total about 14.6 metric tons per resident. That number includes emissions generated by the ground operations of Ronald Reagan Wash- ington National Airport, the Pentagon, and Fort Myer, which are located within the county. And, again, non-residential or commercial buildings account for half of the carbon footprint; residential for about one-quarter. Transportation accounts for about 25 percent of the carbon footprint, of which 14 percent, is generated by visitors and only 11 percent by local residents. At a national level the greenhouse gas emissions for the United States are at about 22 metric tons per person, and the European Union at about 10.5 metric tons per person. At a local level, 3 Arlington County is at 14.6 metric tons per person. Nearby Loudoun County, Virginia, generates about 14.2 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions per person, and in 2009, set a challenging long-term goal of 6 metric tons per person. Similarly, the community in Arlington County has declared its support for breakthrough goals as opposed to a more incremental approach. The global benchmark is arguably that of the city of Copenhagen, with a carbon footprint of 3 metric tons per person, which has recently set the goal to become carbon neutral (Table F.3). Community solutions require integration. Integration includes building, renovating, and operating both new and existing buildings at least 30 to 50 percent more efficiently than today’s average build- ing is built, renovated, and operated. Typically, the premium to reach these levels is no more than 1 or 2 percent of the design and construction costs. As an aside, my team recently calculated the cost for a 40 percent above-code improvement in energy performance and a 70 percent reduction in greenhouse 3 Excludesenergy-related emissions from aviation, maritime, most national defense, long-distance freight, land use, and forestry use changes and most heavy industry. These are included in the national figures.

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108 ACHIEVING HIGH-PERFORMANCE FEDERAL FACILITIES TABLE F.3 Greenhouse Gas Emissions Indicators for Countries and Municipalities Greenhouse Gas Emissions Greenhouse Gas Emissions per Person Goals Countries and Municipalities per Person per Year (metric tons) (metric tons) Canada 22.6 N.A. United States 21.7 N.A. Denmark 14.1 N.A. Germany 11.7 N.A. European Union 10.5 N.A. Arlington County, Virginia, U.S. 14.6 “Breakthrough” Loudoun County, Virginia, U.S. 14.2 6.0 Guelph, Canada 12.2 5.0 Mannheim, Germany 6.0 7.5 Copenhagen, Denmark 3.0 0 SOURCE: Rough indicators, multiple sources. NOTE: N.A., for not available. gas emissions on a project in Ohio.4 We found it would cost an additional $1.50 per square foot on a development of 2,500 homes and 2 million square feet of non-residential space, which equates to a premium of about 1 percent. There are other energy components that need to be integrated. If we look at Copenhagen, we see not only highly efficient buildings, but also widespread district energy systems that provide for district heating and cooling to most properties. District energy systems provide centrally managed supply and delivery of heating, cooling, and domestic hot water to many homes and buildings. Through a network of highly insulated pipes, district energy optimizes both the investments and efficiency of various heating and cooling supplies. A major benefit is the flexibility of fuel choice that it offers, allowing heating and cooling from both fossil and renewable energy sources to be easily and flexibly combined. Even in Copenhagen, a significant portion of the electricity comes from coal, yet it is still the global benchmark for greenhouse gas emissions. This is largely due to the ability of the district energy system to use much of the heat that is typically wasted in more conventional systems. This underlines the basic truism that it is important to look at how efficiently we use resources, not just what form those resources take. As has been the case over many years in Arlington County, benchmark communities like Copenha- gen have an urban design and transportation strategy designed to encourage walking and biking, efficient trams and trains, and ultimately city-wide infrastructure to support the wider use of electric vehicles. Copenhagen has a low unemployment rate, high-value employment, and solid inbound investment. It was recently voted the second most livable city in the world.5 In other words, from an economic and competitive standpoint, it has not done Copenhagen any harm being green! So, what are we looking at? In a sense we are looking at what we knew 25 to 30 years ago. All community energy plans should be prioritized top to bottom, following what is normally called the “loading order” (Box F.1). The first priority is energy efficiency: Have you done everything that you possibly can to avoid needing the energy in the first place? This includes constructing and operating buildings as efficiently 4 See the Dillin Corporation, Integrated Energy Master Plan for Planned Marina District, Toledo, Ohio, Perrysburg, Ohio, 2008. Report available upon request. 5 “Travel Top 25,” Monocle, Special Edition, December 15, 2009. Available at http://www.monocle.com/sections/edits/ Web-Articles/Top- 25-Cities/.

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109 APPENDIX F BOX F.1 The Arlington Loading Order 1. Energy Efficiency—If you don’t need it, don’t use it. • fficient buildings and vehicles E • rban design for transpor tation efficiency U • ixed use development for commuting efficiency M 2. Heat Recovery—If it’s already there, use it. • se existing “waste” heat U • istributed combined power and heat D • lan commercial sites to maximize use of “waste” heat use P 3. Renewable Energy—If it makes sense, go carbon free. • enewable electricity—photovoltaic, wind R • enewable heat—solar thermal, biomass, geothermal R • enewable heat and power—waste-to-energy, biomass R 4. Energy Distribution—Invest where it makes sense. • lexible energy distribution (electric, gas, heating, cooling) F • ccept multiple fuels and energy conversion technologies A • ptimize local/regional energy choices O as possible, encouraging efficient vehicles, urban planning for transport efficiency, and ensuring that jobs are available locally to reduce unnecessary commuting. The second priority is heat recovery: If you already have a lot of heat, use it. One of the largest sources of incrementally carbon-free energy on Earth is the wasted heat side of the U.S. electric system. Local distributed generation, along with various heat recovery strategies, can put this and other waste heat to valuable use. The third priority is to move to renewable energy. If it makes sense, go carbon free, but only if you’ve done the first two things. And then the fourth priority: Team with existing networks to optimize investments between the systems. Do not fight the grid with high-priced renewables. Instead, work with the grid to optimize grid quality and things like avoidance of peaks. It’s a classic model that requires an integrated approach among many community players for a sustained period of time. We tend to forget these priorities under daily pres- sures and end up with inefficient, sub-optimized urban energy systems. So now we come to the community energy plan for Arlington County. From the outset the consul- tants encouraged the county leaders, who were part of the task force, to establish a framing target up front before embarking on the development of the plan. The CEP TWG needed to know whether the county wanted to develop a breakthrough plan or an incremental plan. If the plan was to be incremental, it would include community outreach supporting multiple efficiency and clean and renewable energy supply projects. Most of these efforts would focus on individual buildings, and generally would not rise to the level of the sometimes uncomfortable conversations where planning practices, local norms, and even policy may have to change. If a plan was to be transformative, it would need to look into scale projects that cover entire neighborhoods, where it is expected that there would be new norms, or even policies, created. As enough of these scale projects were implemented, they would ultimately define a

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110 ACHIEVING HIGH-PERFORMANCE FEDERAL FACILITIES new business as usual. It would take 20, 30, or even more years to get there, but it is important to know, before writing the plan, what the goal is. A comment by one of the employees of Arlington County helped frame the conversation over transformation or incremental goals. When the then-county board chairman Jay Fisette (whom I should publicly thank for allowing me to show work-in-progress material) began to understand the kinds of new challenges that the CEP could represent, he commented, “This is not going to be easy.” In response, the employee referred to said, “In Arlington, we don’t do easy!” This became the backdrop catchphrase that helped lead to the task force directing the TWG to develop a plan to achieve “breakthrough targets.” Arlington County already has tremendous community activity around energy-efficient buildings and lifestyle and other aspects of sustainability such as recycling, water conservation, and urban tree cover. It is a very motivated community. I will not spend much time today on these admirable efforts. Strate- gically, these are measures that 10 years from now we probably won’t even be thinking of as “green.” In other words, the things that we already know we need to do to make a high-quality, efficiently built environment will be normal practice. Similarly, on the transportation side, many decades ago the county started to integrate transit planning into its urban design. It is arguably one of the best-integrated systems in the United States today, and by the way, it shows in the numbers of the actual energy performance and carbon footprint from the transportation sector. It is one thing to plan for efficient buildings; it is quite another thing to actually deliver them. This brings us to energy performance validation, where there are real opportunities. All of us have heard the longevity statistics for buildings over and over again, but all too often we focus on the efficiency of new construction and overlook existing buildings. By 2040, nearly 90 percent of all of today’s homes in Arlington County will still be standing. Sixty percent of the nonresidential property will still be stand- ing. The county will also have gone through quite a bit of economic growth, adding yet more incoming workers during the day. If existing buildings are not renovated and operated to higher levels of efficiency, there is no way the breakthrough targets will be achieved. Energy performance validation of all buildings is important for several reasons. First, transparent energy usage when buildings are bought or leased creates a market pull for efficiency, ultimately reflected in sales prices and rental values. Second, understanding ongoing energy performance tends to affect home and building operation practice, because users are more aware of the impact of their behavior. Third, energy performance validation is a potential marketing differentiator for new construction and major renovations. The CEP has the recommendation that most of Arlington County’s buildings will have Energy Performance Labels. These labels represent a low-cost tool for validating actual energy performance. The Energy Performance Label would be available whenever a building is sold or rented. It would typically also be publicly displayed in buildings regularly used by the public. Actual energy performance would be independently certified. Both voluntary and mandatory approaches are possible; the county is opting for a voluntary program supported by the community at large. The specific labeling approach is not yet defined, but will probably use something like the emerging ASHRAE Energy Quo- tient approach,6 which in turn is an adaptation of the European Union performance labels. 7 The schools and county buildings, along with some early adopters from the private sector, will be the first buildings to be labeled. Some of the property owners have already volunteered to be part of such a program. Again, this is a case of adopting and adapting a proven practice and using it for a number of things, including, potentially, as supporting documentation in a commercial transaction. 6 American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers, “ASHRAE Introduces Prototype of Building Energy Label at Annual Conference,” June 22, 2009. Available at http://www.ashrae.org/pressroom/ detail/17194. 7 EurActiv, “Energy Performance of Buildings Directive,” September 29, 2010. Available at http://www.euractiv.com/en/energy-efficiency/ energy-performance-buildings-directive-linksdossier-188521.

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111 APPENDIX F Ultimately, though, many things have to be aligned to create successful implementation of commu- nity energy plans. Those that succeed have many common features, including the following: • Leadership and community engagement, • Transparency and outreach, • Necessary planning policy changes in place, • World-class energy efficiency, • Integrated utility approach, • Early implementation of “scale projects,” • Magnet for business and academic excellence, • Continuous improvement (raising the bar!), and • Consistent execution over decades. It is important to get serious quickly and take advantage of the benefits of scale. If you are going to do a military base, don’t do one building, do the entire base. If you are going to do a home and there are 500 homes in the neighborhood that look the same, do all 500. The TWG has identified potential scale project opportunities for early implementation, based on a number of criteria, including these: • High probability of being implemented; • Manageable number of participants; • Large enough to implement integrated energy; • Solutions within its boundaries; • Possibility to apply different energy supply and efficiency than surrounding norms; • Potentially economically, environmentally, and operationally attractive; and • Future possibility to link to other community projects. Typically, scale projects are high-density urban villages, core or downtown renewal, sport and rec- reation centers, academic campuses, military bases, and so on. The task force is looking for anything that, from an energy standpoint, looks like a small village, yet with relatively simple ownership or decision-making structures. The CEP process has declared four high-priority areas in Arlington: Crystal City, which is adjacent to the Pentagon territory; Columbia Pike, which is a mixed-use development along one main highway; Rosslyn, which is a high-density, mixed-use urban environment with many buildings dating back to the 1960s that are rapidly going into refurbishment; and the transit-oriented development around the East Falls Church Metro station. Each one is different, with its own characteristics, and each one will be planned differently. But each one will have its own integrated energy master plan as a first step. The integrated energy master planning for Crystal City is in the initial development stage. The energy use for Arlington County was modeled in 20 specific areas, each representative of the different kinds of neighborhoods. The sample areas represented 70 percent of the county’s greenhouse gas emissions from buildings, 67 percent of energy use, and 35 percent of the land area. For each of the 20 areas, the consultants estimated the needs for heating, cooling, and other uses. From this the task force began to see the picture of the possibilities for sharing infrastructure, or where it could be pos- sible to start sharing heating and cooling between buildings, ultimately leading to the development of neighborhood district energy systems. As building renovation proceeds, and where the energy density

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112 ACHIEVING HIGH-PERFORMANCE FEDERAL FACILITIES is sufficient, one can start inter-linking where it makes sense. Based on the analysis, about half of the county’s energy use could be amenable to district energy. There are potential benefits from district energy systems for just about everybody: the community, property users, property owners and developers, the district energy utility, and the incumbent gas and electric utilities. These are summarized below: • Community —Reduced environmental impact —Increased supply security —Fuel flexibility —Possibility that peak load reduction may reduce tariff increases —Migration of district energy (DE) benefits to lower density areas —Investment opportunity in district energy utility • Property user —Equal or lower overall energy costs —Less volatile energy costs —Equal or greater supply quality • Property owner/developer —Reduced building investment —Freeing of investment for enhanced efficiency —More marketable space —Reduced operations costs —Investment opportunity in district energy utility • District energy utility —Profitable retail sales of heating and cooling —Grid sales of clean and renewable electricity —Fuel flexibility—extension to biofuels, fuel oil, and waste heat recovery —Greenhouse gas credits —Saleable expertise for similar projects elsewhere • Gas utility —Familiar business model —Business diversification —Higher sales volumesheating, cooling, grid sales —Higher than average margins —Greater knowledge of customers’ requirements • Electric utility opportunity from district energy utility —Business diversification —Low-carbon electricity to meet requirements —Higher than utility margins —Greater knowledge of customers’ requirements In the low-density areas of Arlington County where district energy is not feasible, the CEP calls for differential energy strategies based on energy efficiency, clean and renewable energy, local shared solutions, and transport efficiency. In other words, one completes the energy picture appropriate to the neighborhood, supported by activities that deliver results in line with the overall plan goals. The CEP for the county recognizes that “one size” does not fit all needs.

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113 APPENDIX F If done well, the CEP will create new business opportunities, reduce business risk, and increase the attractiveness of the community. The bottom line is that for the $1 billion to $1.5 billion that Arlington County spends every year on energy at today’s prices, these efforts could reduce their total costs by $300 million to $500 million—revenues that can then be used for other purposes. Energy prices are unpredictable, but most observers expect them to rise in the coming decades, further increasing the value of successful implementation to the county. I want to finish with one additional comment. When discussing these issues at the building level, we often say that productivity is the hidden benefit. We do all these incredibly detailed calculations on the energy bill, but in fact the real benefit is the productivity in efficient, well-managed buildings. The value of this productivity financially is far greater than the energy cost savings, which are not insignificant in themselves. The energy plan that the City of Guelph, Ontario, Canada, completed in 2007 became a planning role model for the entire country. We have recently heard that companies are investing in the City of Guelph as a direct result of its commitment to an integrated long-term approach to energy planning. This will bring many hundreds of new jobs to this city of 110,000 people. In other words, that approximately $300,000 which the city spent on the plan has already been handsomely repaid, even before it starts reaping the other benefits of the long-term implementation of the plan itself. And one last comment on Copenhagen: The achievements there did not happen by accident, and it was not a historical peculiarity. In the early 1970s, Copenhagen had buildings of average efficiency and a relatively small downtown district steam system not unlike that of Indianapolis, San Francisco, or Manhattan today. Copenhagen made a conscious directional decision in 1973 to redesign the efficiency and energy system of the city. Today, it is a global benchmark of both efficiency and energy system integration. That was not an accident. That was a community decision: one that has been systematically and successfully implemented over decades. So, I thank you very much, and I apologize for going through a wonderfully complex story quickly. I also want to publicly thank the people of Arlington County. I have never had so much fun working with a group of people. They keep us on our toes, but they never come in telling us why things cannot be done. They come in saying, “We want to understand it, but once we understand it, we see no reason why we can’t get on with it and do it.” And I think that is the absolute key to what we should be talking about today.

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