Democrat PSC Candidate Tried To Live In An Off-The-Grid Haybale
There’s been a lot of talk about Public Service Commission candidate Brad Crabtree and his environmental views. Crabtree has tried to pass himself off as someone who would be a “consensus builder” as a commissioner, but he has a lengthy track record of being supported by some pretty radical environmental interests.
Like the Dakota Resource Council which is a non-profit group (mostly funded by our federal tax dollars, unfortunately) which is the plaintiff in a lawsuit seeking to remove North Dakota’s long-held, state-level control over surface mining.
But I’ve written about that ad nauseum. What’s interesting about Crabtree is some of the choices he’s made in his personal life which indicate a commitment to some pretty extreme thinking on environmental issues.
Back in 2000 a 32-year-old Brad Crabtree, having returned to North Dakota after living abroad in Brazil, had built for him and his family a home made out of hay bales. NDSU maintains on their website a Fargo Forum article from 2000 about the building of the structure.
According to quotes from Crabtree at the time, he and his family intended to live off the grid in their hay bale home, relying on cell phones for communication and personal wind turbines for power.
In an update to the story from 2010, coinciding with Crabtree’s first PSC run, he was decidedly less celebratory about the lifestyle saying he wouldn’t recommend it for others and admitting that living off of personal wind turbines proved impossible.
Maybe that’s because personal wind turbines have the same problem the larger, on-the-grid wind farms have which is that the wind doesn’t always blow.
Still, though, Crabtree mentions how energy efficient his home is, etc., etc. So why aren’t more people living in hay bale homes? Probably because they’re a safety hazard (a rumor from local sources is that the Crabtree family was forced out of their home by mice at one point, though he denies it) and a lot more expensive to build than conventional homes.
Put simply, most people couldn’t afford the sort of expensive, impractical home Crabtree has chosen as part of his environmental belief system. And perhaps there’s a lesson in that for how Crabtree would govern were he made a regulator in this state.
Words like “expensive” and “impractical” are almost ubiquitous when it comes to many of the zany “green” projects the left indulges in. I respect Mr. Crabtree’s right to make that sort of a choice for his own life, but who is to say he wouldn’t try to impose it on the rest of us?Tags: Brad Crabtree, election 2012, North Dakota News