With a stroke of his pen today, President Obama endorsed a keystone element in Earthjustice’s national push for energy efficiency.
Obama signed a presidential memorandum calling upon the Department of Energy to adopt energy efficiency standards for dozens of common household appliances. This marks a huge step towards the energy savings and independence he promised during the election, Obama said:
Today, I’ve signed a presidential memorandum requesting that the Department of Energy set new efficiency standards for common household appliances. This will save consumers money, this will spur innovation, and this will conserve tremendous amounts of energy. 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.
Earthjustice has challenged in court weak energy efficiency standards proposed by the Bush administration for home furnaces and electricity distribution transformers that left millions in savings and huge electricity reductions on the table.
DOE can immediately resolve these lawsuits simply by agreeing to review the standards and strengthen them to comply with the law.
We’re glad to see President Obama finally moving our government towards action on this important issue. Energy efficiency is real, and can produce real savings. Just one standard alone, on fluorescent light tubes such as those commonly found in offices, over the next 30 years could save up to $26 billion and enough electricity to meet the power needs of 10 to 50 million U.S. households. Now that’s what I call an economic stimulus!
Very soon we’re going to launch a new campaign calling upon the DOE and our elected officials to adopt the strongest possible efficiency standards for fluorescent lights, refrigerators, clothes washers and dryers, air conditioners and many other appliances, so stay tuned.