Trump's War on Energy Efficiency Will Kill Energy Star Program
President Trump and his allies in Congress are seeking to eliminate energy efficiency requirements for appliances, automobiles and other energy consuming applications in an effort that will cost American families and consumers trillions of dollars over time, according to a new report issued today by Public Citizen.
"Trump's decision to target efficiency initiatives discredits his claim that he withdrew from the Paris climate accord because of concerns that the deal would cost U.S. jobs. These programs unambiguously would help meet the goals of the accord and benefit the U.S. economy and yet Trump is still targeting them," said Taylor Lincoln, research director of Public Citizen's Congress Watch division and author of the report, Blinded by the Light.
Among the findings of the report:
The far-right U.S. House Freedom Caucus seeks to repeal 22 efficiency standards for appliances that would save consumers $212 billion over the next 30 years if the standards are left intact, according to U.S. Department of Energy projections. Standards for all appliances are projected to cumulatively save Americans $2.4 trillion by 2035.
The Trump administration has proposed eliminating the Energy Star program, which recognizes products with outstanding efficiency performance. The program saved Americans $430 billion from 1990 to 2015, and $36 billion in 2015, alone, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The Trump administration has put on hold automobile fuel efficiency standards for vehicles sold in 2022 to 2025 that would save consumers $56 billion due to reduced fuel costs just for vehicles sold in those model years.
Additionally, the Trump administration proposes to eliminate the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy program, which provides capital for early-stage clean energy pursuits. Relatedly, the administration proposes to cut the budget of the U.S. Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) by 70 percent. EERE conducts research into clean energy technologies and is credited with helping to bring the cost of solar electricity down nearly to that of electricity generated by fossil fuels.
Energy efficiency requirements have a record of spurring innovation that yields better products, as in the case of the light bulb standard in the 2007 energy bill, which hastened the development of inexpensive, super-efficient LED light bulbs, according to the report. Improved efficiency also has been the primary reason that U.S. electricity consumption has increased by only five percent since 2001 while the economy has grown by 75 percent.
"Even if Trump believes that climate change is a hoax and breathing smog builds character, he should see his way to supporting energy efficiency initiatives simply because they save consumers so much money," said David Arkush, managing director of Public Citizen's climate program. "The savings from these programs literally approach the scale of Trump's most lavish promises for infrastructure spending."
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When Europeans first arrived in North America, Atlantic puffins were common on islands in the Gulf of Maine. But hunters killed many of the birds for food or for feathers to adorn ladies' hats. By the 1800s, the population in Maine had plummeted.
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By Alex Kirby
The temperature of the Arctic matters to the entire world: it helps to keep the global climate fairly cool. Scientists now say that by 2035 there could be an end to Arctic sea ice.
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Putin's Daughter Among Vaccinated<p>The Russian leader also said that one of his daughters has already been inoculated and is feeling well.</p><p>"One of my daughters got vaccinated, so in this sense, she took part in the testing," Putin said.</p><p>After the first vaccine shot, his daughter experienced a slight fever, 38 degrees Celsius (100.4°F). Her temperature came down to just slightly above normal the next day. </p><p>"After the second shot, she had a slight fever again, and then everything was fine. She is feeling well and has a high antibody count," Putin said. </p><p>He didn't specify which of his two daughters, Maria or Katerina, received the vaccine.</p><p>Russian health authorities have said that medical workers, teachers and other risk groups will be the first to receive shots of the vaccine.</p>
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