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The Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming addressed our nation's energy, economic and national security challenges during the 110th and 111th Congresses.

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Wasting Our Watts

TIME Magazine discusses an innovated renewable energy resource: energy efficiency.

  • Wasting less energy is less expensive, destructive, and time intensive than increasing supply through new drilling or new power plants
  • Doesn't pollute like coal & petroleum
  • Doesn't depend on weather like solar or wind
  • Doesn't accelerate deforestation or inflate food prices like ethanol
  • Doesn't raise questions of meltdowns, terrorist attacks, or radioactive waste storage like nuclear plants
  • Workable, scalable, & cost-effective

To read the full article, please CLICK HERE

Wasting Our Watts
TIME Magazine
by Michael Grunwald
December 31, 2008

This may sound too good to be true, but the U.S. has a renewable-energy resource that is perfectly clean, remarkably cheap, surprisingly abundant and immediately available. It has astounding potential to reduce the carbon emissions that threaten our planet, the dependence on foreign oil that threatens our security and the energy costs that threaten our wallets. Unlike coal and petroleum, it doesn't pollute; unlike solar and wind, it doesn't depend on the weather; unlike ethanol, it doesn't accelerate deforestation or inflate food prices; unlike nuclear plants, it doesn't raise uncomfortable questions about meltdowns or terrorist attacks or radioactive-waste storage, and it doesn't take a decade to build. It isn't what-if like hydrogen, clean coal and tidal power; it's already proven to be workable, scalable and cost-effective. And we don't need 
to import it.

This miracle juice goes by the distinctly boring name of energy efficiency, and it's often ignored in the hubbub over alternative fuels, the nuclear renaissance, T. Boone Pickens and the green-tech economy. Clearly, it needs an agent. But it's a simple concept: wasting less energy. Or more precisely, consuming less energy to get the same amount of heat for your shower, light for your office and power for your factory. It turns out to be much less expensive, destructive and time-intensive to reduce demand through efficiency than to increase supply through new drilling or new power plants. A nationwide push to save "negawatts" instead of building more megawatts could help reverse our unsustainable increases in energy-hogging and carbon-spewing while creating a slew of jobs and saving a load of cash. (See the top 10 green ideas of 2008.)

Now this may sound like Jimmy Carter's 30-year-old plea for us to turn down the heat and put on sweaters or like an eco-lecture nagging us to turn off lights, drive less and otherwise change our behavior to save energy. It would be nice if we did, but that's conservation, not efficiency. We don't have to sacrifice comfort or change routines to get efficient. Doing less with less may be admirable, but efficiency is about doing the same or more with less. And studies by groups as diverse as the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and even the National Petroleum Council have identified efficiency as the way to start addressing our energy and climate crises. In fact, we've already started; the Alliance to Save Energy calculates that without the efficiency gains we've made since the last energy crisis, in 1973, our economy would use nearly 50% more energy today. That's more than we get from oil, twice what we get from coal or natural gas and six times what we get from nuclear plants.

 To read the rest of the article, please CLICK HERE.

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