Monday, January 26, 2009

President Obama Promises 'New Era' of Energy, Environmental Policy Built on Foundation of Energy Efficiency

/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Stating emphatically that "No single issue is as imperative to the economy as energy," President Obama today began to lay the foundation -- rapid and widespread deployment of energy efficiency -- for a new, clean energy era for the nation, the Alliance to Save Energy noted.

President Obama's quick action, taken after less than one full week in office, was hailed by Alliance President Kateri Callahan. She, along with Alliance Director of Policy Lowell Ungar and other environmental and efficiency leaders from across the country, were invited to the White House to witness what appears to be a paradigm shift in the federal government's approach to energy and environmental policy and a new commitment to achieving the full potential of energy efficiency in order to improve our nation's energy security.

"President Obama is fulfilling his campaign promise to create a clean energy economy with incredible speed and determination of purpose," said Callahan. She added, "He is moving full-steam-ahead on energy efficiency, not despite but because of the fragile state of the economy."

President Obama signed memoranda at a White House ceremony today directing the Transportation Department to establish higher fuel economy standards for vehicles by model year 2011 and directing the Environmental Protection Agency to reconsider the bid by California and 13 other states to set tailpipe carbon dioxide emission standards that also would require greater fuel economy.

In his statement, Obama also confirmed his intent to weatherize 2 million homes over the next two years; make significant energy efficiency upgrades to 75 percent of federal buildings, saving taxpayers $2 billion in avoided energy costs; double the country's renewable energy resource base; and create nearly 500,000 new "green jobs."

President Obama stated clearly and forcefully that today's action is but the first salvo in what he described as a "steady, focused, and pragmatic approach" to a new energy future.

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