Speeches By EPA Administrator
Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, Remarks at Lighting Science Group, Satellite Beach, Florida, As Prepared05/31/2011
|As prepared for delivery|
I’m happy to be here with such an amazing, innovative American company – a company that is also one of EPA’s great Energy Star partners, and the first company to earn an Energy Star qualification for an LED light bulb. I’m very proud to join in celebrating the remarkable advances they’ve put to work.
The things that are happening here are critical to a clean, secure and affordable energy future. The good people of Lighting Science are a fantastic example of the American ingenuity, innovation and entrepreneurship that is going to lead us to that future. American ingenuity has been at the heart of our nation’s prosperity – from the time when Thomas Edison first invented the household light bulb to LED lights that shine in homes and businesses across the country. As I understand it, these bulbs are even shining in space on the International Space Center.
They are also a great reminder that innovation is a place where protecting our environment and growing our economy meet. Along with changing the way we light our homes and businesses, you’re helping people use less energy. That keeps the air cleaner and healthier, with less mercury and arsenic from power plant emissions, and less pollution to spark asthma attacks or cause health problems for our children. It also means you’re helping cut greenhouse gases, which will protect our planet over the long term. At the same time, the bulbs produced at this facility have helped save enough electricity to shave $17 million off American electric bills.
Some of our largest retailers have already made the switch to LED, from Starbucks to the Home Depot. Even the Time Square Ball rings in our New Year in a cleaner, healthier and more sustainable way than ever thanks to LED lights. Families and other consumers are following suit. Today, 7 in 10 consumers say they will choose brands that are doing good things for people and the planet, and more than half of them say they will look for environmentally friendly products in their next purchase.
And of course, you are also creating jobs – from having 100 employees here in Florida at this time last year, to employing 400 people today. In the next year and a half, Lighting Science is expecting another 400 people to come work for them.
The history of environmental protection is marked by stories like this. Stories where innovation and ingenuity paved the way for a cleaner environment: catalytic converters cut toxic air pollution from our cars; more effective water treatment mechanisms cleanse our drinking water of contaminants; smoke stack scrubbers keep sulfuric acid pollution out of the air we breathe.
Just last week I helped unveil a new generation of fuel economy labels for a new generation of vehicles that are using advanced technology to run cleaner and save drivers money at the gas pump. To keep consumers informed about the new generation of clean, innovative automobiles hitting showroom floors, the new fuel economy labels show not only the standard mileage estimates for city and highway driving, but also charge times for electric vehicles, and range estimates for gas-electric hybrids, as well as smog and greenhouse gas information.
More efficient cars and more efficient lightbulbs are examples of how we are able to grow our economy at the same time that we cut pollution. Because all of these things mean new orders for American companies and new jobs for American workers. They mean that consumers are creating demand for products that don’t sacrifice their health and their budgets. Those demands are met, time and again, with cutting-edge innovations – innovations that make everything we do cleaner, healthier and more efficient.
For those reasons and more, we want to make environmental protection and environmental technology a central piece of our effort to win the future. President Obama has called for investments in our schools and teachers, our innovators and small businesses, and the infrastructure that keeps our economy running – essential ingredients to any economy – and absolutely critical to a robust green economy.
Like any good business, we want to invest in the places that will bring the highest return, so we can see more Americans turn a great idea into an amazing new product. So that more companies like Lighting Science have what they need to thrive and go from a small startup to producing more than a million light bulbs. And so that American workers have the skills they need to seize these opportunities, and fill the jobs when an innovative company hits its stride and is looking for 300 more people to put to work.
These LED lights and all our Energy Star products represent a continuation of what has always made this country strong and prosperous, as well as the best tomorrow has to offer. My job here today is just to say, “Keep it up” and to honor the achievement you’ve had. I’m glad to be with you. Thank you very much.