Diverse Coalition of Organizations Calls Upon Congress and Next President to Make Energy Efficiency a National Priority

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Today more than thirty groups, ranging from the AFL-CIO to The Real Estate Roundtable, issued a call to action for the federal government and states to make energy efficiency a frontline approach to addressing energy supply constraints and reducing global warming emissions.

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work with Governors, Congress, the Administration, regulatory commissions, and other partners to advance this agenda and to participate in projects that demonstrate the business case for energy efficiency and accelerate its market penetration.

Today more than thirty groups, ranging from the AFL-CIO to The Real Estate Roundtable, issued a call to action for the federal government and states to make energy efficiency a frontline approach to addressing energy supply constraints and reducing global warming emissions. As early as today Congress could start voting on drilling and alternative energy proposals, which include efficiency provisions.

The broad-based group of industry and financial leaders, state treasurers, environmental groups and energy policy advocates urged the government to greatly ramp up its commitment to energy efficiency measures. Among additional priorities, the group called for:

  •     Governors and state leaders to prioritize efficiency and allow it to compete with power generation;
  •     The next President to appoint a National Energy Efficiency Advocate;
  •     The Congress to establish worker training programs; and,
  •     And both the next President and Congress to remake the regulatory and financial incentive landscape in order to make the United States a worldwide leader in efficiency technologies.

Specifically, the statement declares that "(r)apid adoption of policies and programs that drive greater energy efficiency in our homes, businesses, industries, and government facilities will make electricity more affordable and reliable, enhance our standard of living, create new jobs, and protect the environment." The statement concludes that "(a)n effective strategy to spur investment in energy efficiency, involving the private sector and government, including regulatory agencies, would reap large energy savings, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and serve as an engine for economic development, creating millions of new jobs."

Supporters pledged to "work with Governors, Congress, the Administration, regulatory commissions, and other partners to advance this agenda and to participate in projects that demonstrate the business case for energy efficiency and accelerate its market penetration." Collectively, the supporting organizations represent millions of people - customers, workers and investors - as well as hundreds of billions of dollars in financial holdings.

The call to action and complete roster of supporting organizations can be found at: http://www.energyfuturecoalition.org/preview.cfm?catID=115 .

The groups committed to the energy efficiency call to action were recruited by the Energy Future Coalition and its partner organizations. Reid Detchon, its executive director, said that "energy efficiency is the closest policy option to a silver bullet that we have. It can be deployed in short order, across wide fleets, delivers savings to consumers, profits to businesses and relief to our climate." Detchon added that "powering economic growth isn't about how much energy we produce, but how wisely we apply it. When it comes to 21st century approaches to energy, doing more with less ought to be a guiding principle."

"Energy efficiency is a critical component of our efforts to meet electricity demand growth, while helping consumers manage energy costs and addressing greenhouse gas emissions," said EEI president Tom Kuhn. "Significant efficiency improvements already are underway, and even greater gains are possible if consumers are active partners and regulatory and other barriers can be overcome. While we still will need to add significant new generating capacity in order to meet the demands of the economy and a growing population, energy efficiency can help to offset some of that demand. Energy efficiency - along with a full portfolio of technology options - is key to addressing climate change concerns."

"Investing in energy efficiency is a win-win solution that could save consumers billions, promote America's energy independence, and generate stable, low-risk returns for investors," said Mindy S. Lubber, president of Ceres and director of the $7 trillion Investor Network on Climate Risk. "But investors need a strong, national commitment to energy efficiency to overcome persistent barriers and to realize this opportunity."

"USGBC represents 18,000 member organizations who have made green, energy efficient new and existing buildings and urgent imperative. Dramatically improving building performance is possible, is proven, and must be made a priority to meet our energy needs, preserve our climate, and support our economy," said Michelle Moore, senior vice president, United States Green Building Council.

For more information, or to arrange an interview, contact John Anthony via phone at 202.778.1639 or email at janthony @ unfoundation.org.

BACKGROUND
The Energy Future Coalition is a broad-based, non-partisan alliance that seeks to bridge the differences among business, labor, and environmental groups and identify energy policy options with broad political support. The coalition aims to bring about changes in U.S. energy policy to address the economic, security and environmental challenges related to the production and use of fossil fuels with a compelling new vision of the economic opportunities that will be created by the transition to a new energy economy.

Reid Detchon is Executive Director of the Climate and Energy program at the United Nations Foundation, in addition to his capacity as Executive Director of the Energy Future Coalition.

Contact:
John Anthony
janthony @ unfoundation.org
202.778.1639

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