Friday, April 11, 2008

Energy Saved Is Energy Found

This should be a no-brainer, but since conservation doesn’t fill Big Oil’s bank account, it’s no surprise that the Bush Administration has been dragging its feet. But the states aren’t waiting; look what Maryland did yesterday:

Washington, D.C.—Maryland's legislators gave final approval this week to two landmark energy bills that together aim to reduce the state's energy consumption by 15% by 2015.  The legislation, proposed by Governor Martin O'Malley, sets the stage for Maryland to become a leader in capturing the benefits of energy efficiency.

"These two bills provide a foundation for a clean and sustainable energy future for the state of Maryland," said Steven Nadel, Executive Director of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). "Maryland's policies now recognize energy efficiency as the 'first fuel' for meeting its future energy needs.

A study released in February by ACEEE evaluated a suite of energy efficiency policies for Maryland and found that more than enough energy efficiency resources exist in the state to meet Governor O'Malley's ambitious 15 by '15 goal, and confirmed that reducing electricity consumption is the quickest, cheapest, and cleanest way for policymakers to bring consumer bills down and keep the lights on in the state.

OK, 15% doesn’t sound like much but it’s a great start.

Tennessee isn’t going to be left behind, either. I read that Tennessee’s House passed an energy conservation bill yesterday (though there’s been precious little information about this bill printed in the media). More to the point, Gov. Bredesen has called for a comprehensive state energy policy. This is something we desperately need, since the government is the largest energy consumer in the state, and apparently it’s an energy hog. State Senator Rosalind Kurita made an interesting revelation:

The Clarksville Democrat said she wants to be able to turn off the lights in her state office when she's not there.

"It's ridiculous that you cannot turn a light off in the Legislative Plaza. In our office the lights are on 24 hours a day. That defies logic, and we're going to fix that.

"That is a wanton waste of energy."

I did not know that you cannot turn a light off in Legislative Plaza. How absolutely insane! And while we’re doing energy audits, let’s get Metro on board, too.

People, this just makes sense. A kilowatt saved is a kilowatt earned. Energy efficiency is a "first fuel." It's time we all got on board this bandwagon.