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energy efficiency

You probably pass by them all the time on the street without giving them a second glance: those gray cylinders on telephone poles. They are called distribution transformers -- and they are a crucial component of the electric grid. They serve to reduce the high voltage used in distribution lines to the lower voltages we use in our homes, offices and businesses.

When an environmental organization tells you the age of coal is over, it’s fair to dismiss that as mere wishful thinking.

But when an international economic magazine says the same thing, people sit up and pay attention.

While the cradle-to-grave impacts of coal are well documented, the fact remains that coal still provides 45 percent of the nation’s power. But coal's dominance is decreasing as new sources of power come online and energy efficiency improves.

Usually when our elected leaders fight federal rules, they are going to the mat for their corporate benefactors. Yet we scratch our heads in wonder over who exactly has pushed them to take on this light bulb fight. Last week, the House GOP majority included in their must-pass funding legislation a rider to block funding for DOE’s enforcement of certain light bulb efficiency rules.

It’s that time of year again. No, I’m not talking about the great big man in the red suit and last-minute Christmas shopping.

I’m talking about the House GOP majority trying to deliver on their year-long assault on environmental and public health protections in the last two bills that will be passed by Congress this year.

Back in July, I wrote about the lengths to which shoppers sometimes have to go in order to find legally required energy efficiency information about appliances for sale online. In response, more than 10,000 of you wrote in supporting our petition telling the Federal Trade Commission to require online retailers to display that information front and center in their product listings.

There was more than the usual lurking going on Thursday afternoon in Lurker Park in East Hanover, New Jersey. More than 50 people turned out to protest the Obama administration’s fast-tracking of a proposed electrical power line that would bring coal-fired power to New Jersey. The protesters say we should be using less, not more, coal-fired power and new information now shows that clean energy solutions can keep the lights on in New Jersey.

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