Steven Chu Must Prioritize Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency will protect environment and save money


Raviya Ismail, Earthjustice, (202) 667-4500, ext. 237 

Energy efficiency advocates have high hopes for Dr. Steven Chu, President-elect Obama’s pick to head the Department of Energy. The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee questioned Chu in a hearing today in advance of consideration by the full Senate on the nomination. As Secretary, Chu will have the ability to point the agency in the direction of vast improvements in energy efficiency, our nation’s largest source of cheap, safe and readily available energy. The following statement is from Earthjustice, a leading environmental law firm working toward a clean energy future.

“Chu has a major task ahead of him — undoing the failed energy policies of the past that have left us long on pollution and short on alternatives. By setting strong national efficiency standards for buildings and appliances, DOE can cut energy consumption and curb greenhouse gases simultaneously, while putting money back in the pockets of consumers and businesses,” said Tim Ballo, an attorney with the group.

Earthjustice is advocating that Chu direct DOE to meet or exceed court-ordered and Congressional deadlines over the next four years for setting standards for more than two dozen appliances like clothes washers and dryers, air conditioners and heat pumps. Energy efficient products lower electricity bills, reduce power consumption, and help fight global warming.

DOE recently set standards for residential furnaces that pass up huge potential efficiency savings achievable from stronger standards. Earthjustice, NRDC, and several states are challenging the weak standards in court.

“DOE has fallen woefully short of the mark on the energy efficiency front,” said Sarah Saylor, Legislative Representative for the group. “We look forward to working with Dr. Chu and we are hopeful that, as head of DOE, he will make energy efficiency a top priority. ”

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