Friday, February 6, 2009

Obama Orders New Rules to Raise Energy Efficiency

Obama Orders New Rules to Raise Energy Efficiency

WASHINGTON — President Obama ordered the Energy Department on Thursday to immediately draft long-overdue standards to make a variety of appliances and light bulbs more energy efficient.

Over the last three decades, Congress has demanded stricter efficiency standards on 30 categories of products, as varied as residential air-conditioners and industrial boilers. But successive administrations have failed to write regulations to enforce the laws, even when ordered to by the courts.

In remarks to employees of the Energy Department, and in a presidential memorandum, Mr. Obama said he intended to comply with the laws, starting this year with nine categories of products, including ovens, vending machines, microwave ovens, dishwashers and light bulbs.

He said the new standards would cut energy use and reduce emissions of the heat-trapping gases that scientists blame for global warming.

“This will save consumers money, this will spur innovation and this will conserve tremendous amounts of energy,” Mr. Obama said. “We’ll save through these simple steps over the next 30 years the amount of energy produced over a two-year period by all the coal-fired power plants in America.”

All recent administrations have been tardy in drafting the standards, leading to a lawsuit in 2005 by 14 states and a number of consumer and environmental groups. A year later, a federal court ordered the Bush administration to begin issuing the standards. But former President George W. Bush left office with only seven standards completed and 15 still to be written, according to government documents.

Andrew deLaski, executive director of the Appliance Standards Awareness Project, said that in addition to moving quickly to complete the new rules, Mr. Obama should toughen some standards issued by the Bush administration, particularly for industrial furnaces and transformers. Mr. deLaski also said some of the most significant savings would come from the lowly light bulb.

The Energy Department is under orders to develop stricter efficiency standards for florescent light bulbs and reflector bulbs, saving businesses and households as much as $67 billion over the next 30 years. Congress has ordered the phasing out of the traditional incandescent light bulb by 2014.

1 comment:

BeyondGreen said...

We need to be doing everything in our power to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.The high cost of gas this past year has seriously destroyed every budget from the average family to the largest of municipalities.The average family went broke at the pump alone, then added to the misery the higher cost of manufacturing and shipping was passed on to us at the checkout for every consumer product. School districts went broke keeping the busses on the road.One police dept in my area required officers to park their car for 15 minutes of every hour just to conserve .Lower prices are not here to stay.OPEC just announced another production cut.With all these bailouts in the billions why doesn't our nation see the need to bail us out of our dependence on foreign oil? I just read a really interesting new book called The Manhattan Project of 2009 Energy Independence Now by Jeff Wilson.I never realized it would only cost the equivalent of 60 cents per gallon to charge and drive an electric car. Also,The electricity to charge the car could come from solar or wind generated electricity. If all gasoline cars, trucks, and suv’s instead had plug-in electric drive trains, the amount of electricity needed to replace gasoline is about equal to the estimated wind energy potential of the state of North Dakota.What powerful resources we have been neglected. The last economic stimulus package cost 168 BILLION and did absolutely nothing to stimulate our economy or create jobs.
Bail America out of its dependence on foreign oil. Wouldn't that make more sense?