Historically, the Tennessee Department of Transportation has been to environmentally sustainable practices what PETA has been to Outback Steakhouse menu planning. So it seems odd that a TDOT official — in this case, affable Commissioner Gerald Nicely — will present “The Conservation Legacy of the Bredesen Administration” as part of Lipscomb University’s 2010 Sustainability Lecture Series. Perhaps somebody in attendance at LU’s Shamblin Theatre will ask Mr. Nicely why TDOT for years allowed useless barb-wire fencing — bent, rusted and easily removable — to pockmark points of Downtown Nashville’s inner-interstate loop. Very green, indeed. Give Lipscomb credit for its Institute for Sustainable Practice, which oversees the series. And props to Phil Bredesen for driving an effort to improve the state’s cohesive planning involving land use and urban transportation corridors. Heck, we’ll be fair and even praise TDOT for its Clean the Air Tennessee initiative. So if Nicely can wow the crowd with tales of Tennessee’s masterfully melding transit and trees, we’ll forever cease criticizing his agency.