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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release January 18, 2001


I am pleased that the Department of Energy is today establishing four new energy efficiency standards for appliances that will save consumers and businesses more than $19 billion over the next 30 years. These standards once again demonstrate that environmental protection and economic growth go hand in hand. By reducing electricity use, the standards will not only make our electricity system more reliable, but also will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other harmful air pollutants. I applaud the leadership and hard work of Energy Secretary Bill Richardson and his staff for bringing these consumer savings and environmental benefits to the American public.

These new standards -- for clothes washers, water heaters, residential heat pumps and central air conditioners, and commercial heating and cooling equipment -- are a critical part of our broader effort to address the greatest environmental challenge of the 21st century: global warming. The world's leading scientists have established that our climate is changing, that the rate of change is increasing, that human activities are a significant factor in climate change, and that climate change is likely to have many negative impacts on our environment and society.

As part of our effort to combat global warming, this Administration has launched more than 50 major initiatives to improve energy efficiency and develop clean energy sources. Along with the new standards announced today, higher energy efficiency standards for appliances established by this Administration will save consumers more than $10 billion, and avoid carbon dioxide emissions of more than 225 million metric tons, by 2010. We also made the Federal government more efficient -- in 1999 alone, we reduced our annual energy bill by $800 million. By 2010, these federal energy savings will reduce annual emissions by an amount equal to taking 1.7 million cars off the road.

I am proud of the progress we have made, and am confident that it will serve as a foundation upon which our nation can continue to meet the profound challenge of climate change.