Sustainable energy groups present White House with criteria for next U.S. EPA administrator

WASHINGTON DC, June 19, 2003 — In a letter delivered to the White House Thursday, eleven sustainable energy business and environmental organizations outlined criteria they believe should be considered when President Bush selects the next Administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

In particular, they urged that the new EPA head be someone who will “actively support and promote energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies as solutions to the nation’s myriad environmental, public health, and energy security problems.”

The letter, addressed to President George Bush, cited a number of EPA “energy-related initiatives that … should not only be continued but strengthened and expanded.”

Foremost among these is EPA’s Energy Star program which “has regularly been a target for funding cuts.”

The groups recommend that “the next EPA administrator seek immediate restoration of the Energy Star cuts in Fiscal Year 2003, followed by 10% increases in 2004 through 2008.”

“Likewise, the new administrator “should be prepared to actively implement the Combined Heat and Power Partnership” and to initiate “efforts to substantially curb transportation fuel use and displace truck idling.” In addition, the appointee “should be a person prepared to examine new opportunities through which the EPA can promote the cross-section of renewable energy technologies.”

Moreover, the letter continued, “an absolutely necessary priority for the next EPA Administrator, and which your Administration has not yet adequately addressed, is that of climate change caused in large part by emissions of carbon dioxide. We therefore recommend that the new EPA Administrator be someone prepared to take the lead in designing and helping to implement a more ambitious goal for the administration’s carbon intensity policy. … [And] the new EPA Administrator must be committed to comprehensive power plant clean-up.”

The full text of the letter and a list of signers follows.

American Bioenergy Association * American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy * American Solar Energy Society * Bob Lawrence & Associates * Cascade Associates * Clean Fuels Development Coalition * Environmental & Energy Study Institute * National Environmental Trust * New Uses Council *
Nuclear Information and Resource Service * The Stella Group


June 20, 2003

President George Bush The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear President Bush:

We the undersigned business, consumer, environmental, and energy policy organizations are writing to urge that you appoint as the next Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) an individual of some stature – whether that be Idaho Governor Kempthorne as has been rumored by some media sources or some other candidate – who will actively support and promote energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies as solutions to the nation’s myriad environmental, public health, and energy security problems.

While leadership on energy policy issues rests primarily with the U.S. Department of Energy, the EPA either cooperates on, or has assumed a leadership role for, a number of energy-related initiatives that we believe should not only be continued but strengthened and expanded.

Perhaps foremost among these is EPA’s Energy Star program which helps businesses and individuals to reduce pollution and energy costs through the purchase of energy-efficient appliances, air conditioners, heating systems, refrigerators, computers, and other items as well as encourages the construction of energy-efficient homes and offices.

According to the government’s own figures, last year alone, Americans, with the help of Energy Star, saved enough energy to power 10 million homes and avoid greenhouse gas emissions from 12 million cars – all while saving $6 billion. Not surprisingly, it was highly touted in the National Energy Plan developed by Vice President Cheney.

Nonetheless, this program has regularly been a target for funding cuts. We consequently believe that the next EPA Administrator must be a person strongly committed to protecting and enhancing this program.

As a target, we recommend that the next EPA administrator seek immediate restoration of the Energy Star cuts in Fiscal Year 2003, followed by 10% increases in 2004 through 2008.

Likewise, the new administrator should be prepared to actively implement the Combined Heat and Power Partnership which works with industry, states and local governments, universities, and other institutional users to facilitate the development of efficient combined heat and power projects. S/he should be prepared to not only meet the program’s goal of doubling national CHP capacity by 2010 but also to enhance the use of newer technologies including fuel cells and heat engines.

Other programs that promote improved fuel efficiency such as the Smart Travel Resource Center and the annual publication of the Fuel Economy Guide data for new automobiles should likewise be continued but be supplemented by new efforts to substantially curb transportation fuel use and displace truck idling.

Along the same lines, your appointee should be a person prepared to examine new opportunities through which the EPA can promote the cross-section of renewable energy technologies in addition to its current Renewable Energy Modeling Series and the Green Power Partnership. The latter enlists commercial, nonprofit, and public organizations to purchase a portion of their power as renewable energy, thereby reducing the emissions associated with power generation.

Additional initiatives might include using renewable energy in all EPA facilities, employing biomass-based phytoremediation technologies for waste clean-up, clearing the way for 22% ethanol automotive blends to help address evaporative emissions concerns, and a proactive program to displace stationary diesel generators the majority of which nationwide are over 20 years old, with advanced batteries, fuel cells, heat engines, microhydropower, mini-natural gas, modular biomass, small wind, and solar thermal power units.

However, a far more ambitious and absolutely necessary priority for the next EPA Administrator, and which your Administration has not yet adequately addressed, is that of climate change caused in large part by emissions of carbon dioxide. We therefore recommend that the new EPA Administrator be someone prepared to take the lead in designing and helping to implement a more ambitious goal for the administration’s carbon intensity policy; for example, one that would stabilize emissions within 10 years and return them to 1990 levels by 2020.

Related to this last point, the new EPA Administrator must be committed to comprehensive power plant clean-up. Of course, a meaningful multiple-pollutant regime would have to address carbon dioxide emissions.

In addition, energy efficiency and renewables specifically must be eligible to receive emission allowances under any multi-pollutant policy; this has worked in the past on Clean Air Act compliance issues, and should be allowed to expand under any new regime.

Finally, your appointee should be an individual prepared to reach out to the sustainable energy, environmental, and public health communities to solicit ideas on how to use energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies to meet the agency’s goals.

We appreciate your taking these views into serious consideration.

Sincerely,

American Bioenergy Association American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy American Solar Energy Society Bob Lawrence & Associates Cascade Associates Clean Fuels Development Coalition Environmental & Energy Study Institute

National Environmental Trust New Uses Council Nuclear Information and Resource Service The Stella Group

Please respond to:

Ken Bossong, coordinator Sustainable Energy Coalition 1612 “K” Street, N.W.; Suite #202-A Washington, D.C. 20006 202-293-2898, ext. 201 fax: 202-293-5857 kbossong614@yahoo.com


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