Sponsored by the U.S. Energy Association and Johnson Controls, Inc., the event took place June 11 at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. The keynote address was given by U.S. Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman who stressed to an audience of energy decision makers that “efficiency does not need to come at the expense of profitability.”
The agenda was ushered in with speeches by representatives from both the Democratic and Republican presidential campaigns. In his remarks on behalf of Senator John McCain, former Governor of Virginia George Allen said, “What Senator McCain as president would do is propose a national energy strategy that will amount to a declaration of independence from energy insecurity and he’ll promote diversification and conservation of our energy resources.”
In his comments about the need to change energy production incentives, Executive Director of the National Commission on Energy Policy, and advisor to Senator Barrack Obama’s campaign Jason Grumet said, “Senator Obama believes that we have to decouple the profit motives of the energy sector from energy production.” Grumet added that Senator Obama also believes that within the next decade new buildings need to be 25% more efficient than they are today, and 50% more efficient by 2030.
Delivering the luncheon keynote address at the Forum was Pulitzer Prize-winning author and New York Times columnist, Thomas Friedman. During his address, he shared excerpts of his latest book for the first time in the U.S. Through the reading he offered strong advice about the serious challenges we face and proposed mobilizing to a “code green.” He explained, “What red was to America in the 1950s and 1960s…we need green to be for today’s America.” Friedman went on to say, “I would be less than truthful, though, if I said that America as it operates today is ready for this mission. We are not.”
Immediately following his speech, Friedman lead an engaging panel discussion with Robert K. Watson, founder of the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED® Green Building Rating System, and David B. Goldstein, co-director of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s energy program. Electric Power Research Institute president Steven Specker spoke separately about his organization’s focus on research and development on technology, and Brenna Walraven, president of the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International, discussed the impact of energy legislation on facility owners and operators.
The Forum agenda also paid close attention to youth awareness of energy efficiency, beginning with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s debut of its “Horton Hears a Who” public service announcements aimed at children. Student and teacher winners from the Igniting Creative Energy competition were recognized, along with a group of college students from Carnegie Mellon University who won a national climate change writing competition.
Additionally, the Forum’s Energy Leaderships Awards were presented to:
* Andy Karsner, assistant secretary for energy efficiency and renewable energy at the U.S. Department of Energy, for his efforts to advance programs that reduce energy in buildings and vehicles.
* Greg Nickels, Seattle mayor, for his efforts to reduce energy in his own city in addition to his formation of the U.S. Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Agreement to advance the goals of the Kyoto Protocol through leadership and action. It has been signed by more than 850 mayors across the country.
* Alan Edwards, national energy manager for the U.S. Federal Bureau of Prisons, for his efforts in implementing energy efficiency projects at 96 federal prisons to renew aging prison infrastructure and introduce renewable technologies, resulting in approximately 166 billion Btu in energy savings.
The Forum’s mission is to be the premier event that promotes an energy efficiency ethic through the presentation of national and worldwide views on energy efficiency and the resulting impact on the environment, national security and economic growth.
More about the Forum events can be read at www.eeforum.net.
About United States Energy Association
The United States Energy Association is the U.S. Member Committee of the World Energy Council. USEA is an association of public and private energy-related organizations, corporations, and government agencies. It represents the broad interests of the U.S. energy sector by increasing the understanding of energy issues, both domestically and internationally. In conjunction with the U.S. Agency for International Development and the U.S. Department of Energy, USEA sponsors our nation’s Energy Partnership Program. Membership in USEA is open to all organizations having an interest in the energy sector of the United States.
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