National Press Club

Panel Calls for Strategic Energy Policy

January 6, 2010 | By Frank Maisano |

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Leaders from government, academia and energy efficiency-related businesses s aid the nation must develop a collaborative, comprehensive energy management strategy in order to achieve long-term sustainability goals, reduce emissions and strengthen our economy at a Newsmaker panel Jan. 5.

Panelists were Richard Kidd, manager of the Federal Energy Management Program; Paul Cody of the Eaton Corp.; University of Pittsburgh energy expert Greg Reed; and Bayer MaterialScience's EcoCommercial Building head Paul Platte.

Panelists said the economic and environmental benefits of an energy-efficiency culture could realize savings worth more than $1.2 trillion, well above the $520 billon needed investment in efficiency measures. They also added a coordinated program could reduce end-use energy consumption in 2020 by about 23% of projected demand, reducing up to 1.1 gigatons of greenhouse gases annually.

While the U.S. economy has demonstrated a broad commitment to energy reduction, the panel noted that the public and private sectors must now make strategic, long-term investments in their electrical infrastructure.

Tom Gross, vice chairman and chief operating officer of Electrical Sector, Eaton Corp., said we must act now to coordinate state, federal, local, public and private energy efficiency efforts. “Traditional energy-use practices and purchasing patterns must be improved if we want to create a more energy efficient and sustainable world," he said. "Energy reduction is merely the starting point. We must now begin to build a nation-wide energy-efficiency culture.”