This is a copy of the press release we handed out at my last conference. What they basically did was take a generic release and inserted my name. I didnt actually say ALL of this stuff. I said some of it.
PITTSBURGH?Pennsylvania could save over $2.5 billion in lowered electricity bills through 2030 by implementing minimum energy efficiency standards for a set of 18 common products, according to a new report released today by PennEnvironment. The report also found that by reducing demand from the state's coal-fired power plants, energy efficiency standards could cut annual smog- and soot-forming emissions by 2,500 and 6,000 tons respectively by 2020.
"Energy efficiency standards are a win-win opportunity for Pennsylvania's economy, our environment, and our public health," said Stephen Wegendt, energy and clean air advocate with PennEnvironment. "Just as gas prices, summer electricity bills, and smog alert days demonstrate the clear costs of energy use, this report shows one clear avenue for relief."
The report, entitled "Leading the Way: Continued Opportunities for New State Appliance and Equipment Efficiency Standards," was written by the Appliance Standards Awareness Project and the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy. It calculated the potential financial, energy, and environmental savings that would result from setting efficiency standards for a set of 18 products currently lacking minimum efficiency standards.
PennEnvironment was joined by Citizens for Pennsylvania's Future (PennFuture), Conservation Consultants, Inc (CCI), and Pittsburgh City Councilman Bill Peduto-who last fall introduced a successful Council resolution in support of minimum efficiency standards-in releasing the report. The groups released the report at CCI's headquarters, a building that utilizes many energy efficient technologies.
"The cleanest, cheapest, healthiest, and most reliable watt of electric power in Pennsylvania is the one that is never used. Saving energy with smarter appliances is the easiest way to green energy, in economic and environmental terms," said Heather Sage, outreach coordinator for PennFuture. "The Pittsburgh area suffers from some of the nation's worst air pollution, and Pennsylvania ranks near the bottom among all fifty states in job creation and in population growth. Polluted communities are not competitive, and a growing economy depends on improving and maintaining our environment. Improving energy efficiency is an important and easy step in the right direction."
"If you use energy efficiently, then your energy bills are low enough that you can afford to buy renewable energy," said Ann Jones Gerace, executive director at CCI.
"Energy efficiency is the cleanest, quickest, and cheapest way to use energy while cutting down on waste; saving money and the environment in the process," said Councilman Bill Peduto.
The products analyzed in the report included commercial washing machines, exit signs, traffic signals, commercial ice-makers, and external power supplies-the small black boxes on the power cords of many electronic products such as laptop computers and rechargeable tools. By implementing minimum energy efficiency standards for this set of 18 products, the report found that:
- Pennsylvania consumers and businesses would realize $2.5 billion in savings through lowered electricity bills through 2030.
- Due to a decreased demand from the state's coal-fired power plants, annual sulfur dioxide emissions would be reduced by 6,078 tons by 2020 in Pennsylvania. Sulfur dioxide emissions cause soot pollution, the more visible type of air pollution that leads to over 1,800 premature deaths in Pennsylvania each year.
- Annual nitrogen oxide emissions would be reduced by 2,560 tons by 2020 in Pennsylvania. Nitrogen oxide reacts with sunlight and heat to create smog pollution, the hazy type of air pollution that is blamed for tens of thousands of asthma attacks every summer.
The report also noted that several of the products lacking minimum efficiency standards-namely commercial air conditioners, refrigerators, and freezers-are the products used most heavily during the hottest summer days when we most need to be conserving electricity to avoid overloading the electricity grid.
"Leading the Way" advocates that states take a leadership role in setting minimum energy efficiency standards, citing the history of states taking the lead in efficiency advancements, and political gridlock in Washington, DC making it unlikely that the federal government will take action on this issue any time soon. Within the past year, four states-Maryland, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Arizona-have passed energy efficiency standards for a set of the products contained within the report. Similar legislation passed the Pennsylvania state House last spring but later stalled in the Senate, and has since been reintroduced in the new legislative session.
Southwestern Pennsylvania is home to some of the nation's oldest and dirtiest coal-fired power plants, including the Hatfield's Ferry, Keystone, Armstrong, Conemaugh, and Homer City plants, and thus the region suffers from some of the worst air pollution in the country. A 2004 report by Clear the Air found that Pittsburgh ranked 3rd nationally for the most premature deaths (563) from power plant pollution among metropolitan areas.
"Here in Pittsburgh, we are in the belly of the beast when it comes to feeling the public health affects of power plant pollution," said Stephen. "Energy efficiency standards are the easiest and cheapest way for our state's leaders to start fixing this problem, while simultaneously providing a boost to the economy through lowered electricity bills."
I dont think you'll find this online. Try checking out Jet-24, Erie PA's Fox and ABC affiliate. They might have a way for you to look up video or news stories. Just look up PennEnvironment, and see if my news conference pops up.
I wouldnt worry too much. Since my main compass is a moral one, it doesnt know any national borders. If I dont think its fair to other human beings, I wouldnt endorse it. I'm not sure that Free Trade, completely unmitigated, is fair to all human beings involved. As I said in previous posts, it certainly rewards those who are least concerned with the wage of their workers. Until all countries have ways to ensure that their people are not enslaved in sweatshops, its not just a case of the best product winning. In this respect a country like Canada or the United States should use some form of protectionism to level the playing field for their workers. In regards to trade between two developed nations such as Canada and the US, unless dumping is involved, I dont see why we would slap a tariff on you guys. Frankly, I havent even heard of this issue yet. More often than not, because the US under Reagan formed the WTO, we are treated pretty generously in International Trade. Hopefully, it will get sorted out fairly and amicably so that workers on both sides of the border can live prosperous lives. Thats how I would view it. I do think, however, that especially in Europe, that it is the pot calling the kettle black. Everyone wants America to respect their wishes, but Europe is mostly a group of "realist" countries. They do what is best for them. If you dont like it, too bad. I honestly beleive that the US is far too caught up in being politically correct to ever quite reach the level of self-absorption that I see in many European foreign relations. But I'm sure we fall into that trap as well, as well as the trap of getting too caught up in doing good everywhere in the world but here.
Thanks for the compliments, but its not over till its over, as Yogi Berra said. I'm in the throes of figuring what the heck is happening with my health, parents who dont care, and just feeling majorly lonely about my lack of stability. I wish my college career was normal, with a normal family life. I wish my health was normal. I wish I felt like a fit in in Pittsburgh. Something just isnt quite right. My social life is seriously hurting. But I'm trying.....I'm trying really, really hard to stay productive, and work, and be around people, and keep up with my docs. Maybe, just maybe, something will pay off. Until then, I'm just plugging away.