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consumption by 30% compared to mid-70's practice while improving the
The policies embodied in S. 207 are built on success stories like these.
Manufacturers have pointed out that in order to introduce new technologies that cost more and that are perceived to be risky, they need the assurance that the same product can be sold throughout the country and that the financial incentives will be available for enough time to make it worth investing in production. S. 207 does this by providing nationally uniform performance targets for buildings and equipment that will be eligible for tax incentives for 6 full years.
It's worth mentioning that S. 207 and other policies improving efficiency of electricity and natural gas use have immediate benefits for consumers and the economy. Let's start with the problem of electric reliability. Not only in California and the West, but in other parts of the country, we are facing the risk of electrical blackouts and/or excessively high electricity prices this summer and next. Regions that are confronting these problems are trying to move forward aggressively both on energy efficiency programs and on power plant construction. But the lead times for most actions on the supply side are far too long to provide a solution. And demand-side approaches attempted on a state-by-state level are much less effective than coordinated national activities.
Here, S. 207 could be a critical piece of a national solution. Air conditioners, for example, represent about 30% of summertime peak electric loads. Air conditioners that use a third less power can be purchased today, but they are not produced in large enough quantities to make a difference to peak load. If incentives are made available, manufacturers could begin to mass-produce these products in a matter of months, not years. Mass production and increased competition for tax incentives will drive prices sharply lower, so the incentives will be self-sustaining in the long-term. And with 5 million air conditioners being sold every year, a sudden increase in energy efficiency could have a significant effect in balancing electricity supply and demand even after less than a year.
Another peak power efficiency measure with a very short lead time is installing energyefficient lighting systems - either new or retrofit - in commercial buildings. Some 15% of electrical peak power results from lighting in commercial buildings. Efficient installations, such as those NRDC designed and installed in our own four offices, can cut peak power demand by over two-thirds while improving lighting quality. Lighting systems are designed and installed with a lead time of months, so incentives for efficient lightings as provided in S. 207 could begin to mitigate electric reliability problems as
soon as next summer.
The second major new problem is the skyrocketing cost of natural gas, which caused heating bills throughout the country to increase last winter. Improved energy efficiency can cut gas use for the major uses - heating and water heating - by 30%-50%. Much of
about every ten years, and are the second largest user of natural gas in a typical household (and largest gas user in households living in efficient homes or in warm areas).
These types of quick-acting incentives help consumers in two different ways: first, they provide new choices that are not now available in practice for families and businesses that want to cut their own energy costs while obtaining tax relief. But they also help the nonparticipants, because reduced demand cuts prices for everyone.
E. Benefits of Integrated Policies to Promote Efficiency, Renewable Energy and Limit Carbon Emissions
The beneficial impacts of policies like those described above are magnified when assembled into an integrated program that combines incentives for energy efficiency and renewable energy and explicit measures to limit carbon emissions. An example of such an integrated program can be found in the November 2000, Department of Energy Report, "Scenarios for a Clean Energy Future." The policies described in the Clean Energy Future report include greatly expanded research and development funding for energy efficiency and renewable energy breakthroughs, a renewable energy portfolio standard, incentives for renewable energy production and suites of performance standards and incentives for the vehicles, buildings, and industrial sectors. DOE's report forecasts that together, these policies would avoid the need for construction of over 60 percent of the nation's base-case predicted need for new electric power plants over the next 20 years. The policies also would lower Americans' electric bills by over $120 billion per year, cut CO2 pollution by one-third, and slash emissions of other pollutants in half. These policies are not the imaginings of wild-eyed dreamers. In many cases they amount to expanding programs that have proven to work well already: cap and trade emissions programs; tax incentives; appliance standards; targeted research and development programs; and wellstructured voluntary performance commitment programs. Adoption of such programs now is feasible and we urge members of the Committee to lend their support to early enactment of each of these measures.
107TH CONGRESS 1ST SESSION
To amend the Energy Policy Act of 1992 to develop the United States Climate Change Response Strategy with the goal of stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system, while minimizing adverse short-term and long-term economic and social impacts, aligning the Strategy with United States energy policy, and promoting a sound national environmental policy, to establish a research and development program that focuses on bold technological breakthroughs that make significant progress toward the goal of stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations, to establish the National Office of Climate Change Response within the Executive Office of the President, and for other purposes.
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
JUNE 8, 2001
Mr. BYRD (for himself and Mr. STEVENS) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Governmental Affairs
To amend the Energy Policy Act of 1992 to develop the United States Climate Change Response Strategy with the goal of stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system, while minimizing adverse short-term and long-term economic and social impacts, aligning the Strategy with United States energy policy, and promoting a sound na
development program that focuses on bold technological breakthroughs that make significant progress toward the goal of stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations, to establish the National Office of Climate Change Response within the Executive Office of the President, and for other purposes.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representa2 tives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
3 SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
5 egy and Technology Innovation Act of 2001".
6 SEC. 2. FINDINGS.
This Act may be cited as the "Climate Change Strat
Congress finds that
(1) evidence continues to build that increases in atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases are contributing to global climate change;
(2) in 1992, the Senate ratified the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, done at New York on May 9, 1992, the ultimate objective of which is the "stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system";
(3) although science currently cannot determine precisely what atmospheric concentrations are “dangerous", the current trajectory of greenhouse gas
2 2 2 2
emissions will lead to a continued rise in greenhouse
gas concentrations in the atmosphere, not stabiliza
(4) the remaining scientific uncertainties call
for temperance of human actions, but not inaction;
(5) greenhouse gases are associated with a wide range of human activities, including energy production, transportation, agriculture, forestry, manufacturing, buildings, and other activities;
(6) the economic consequences of poorly designed climate change response strategies, or of inaction, may cost the global economy trillions of dol
(7) a large share of this economic burden would be borne by the United States;
(8) stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere will require transformational change in the global energy system and other emitting sectors at an almost unimaginable level-a veritable industrial revolution is required;
(9) such a revolution can occur only if the revolution is preceded by research and development that leads to bold technological breakthroughs;
(10) over the decade preceding the date of enactment of this Act