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Speeches By EPA Administrator

 

Administrator Johnson, Utah Energy Summit, Salt Lake City, U.T.

04/17/2007
Thank you, Governor (Jon) Huntsman, for that introduction … and for asking me to participate this afternoon.

It’s good to be here today at the First Annual Utah Energy Summit. I had the honor of meeting with Jon in D.C. last year, and it is a pleasure to once again discuss our shared vision for a cleaner, healthier, more secure energy future.

Governor, I want to thank you for your continued dedication and support as we work together to address our nation’s energy demand in such a way that supports our goals for a clean environment.

In this year’s State of the Union Address, President Bush vowed to reduce gasoline consumption in this country by 20 percent in 10 years. The President asked America's scientists, industry leaders, and entrepreneurs to join him in developing new strategies to lessen our nation's dependence on foreign oil. His proposal calls for increasing our fuel efficiency and developing alternative and renewable fuel sources. The President's plan enables us to further enhance America's energy security, while also helping something that's near and dear to my heart - the environment.

Since 2001, our nation has funded nearly $10 billion in developing energy sources that are cleaner, cheaper and more reliable. EPA has played a substantial role in this effort through cost-effective programs that encourage governments, businesses and individuals to make energy efficient choices that also protect the environment. But we’re not doing it alone.

Today, instead of having only 17-thousand EPA employees working to protect the environment, we now have over 300 million Americans as environmental partners. Americans from all sectors of society - communities, businesses and individuals - have begun to embrace the fact that environmental responsibility is everyone’s responsibility … not just the responsibility of EPA.

At my Agency, we continue to do our part. By focusing on cooperation over conflict … education over regulation … and by equipping this growing army of environmental stewards with the tools they need to meet today’s challenges, EPA is helping America shift into a “green” culture.

Yet, we all know that the environmental challenges of the 21st Century cannot be addressed by federal regulations, or federal funding alone.

That is why EPA is committed to working in collaboration with our state and local partners to hand down to the next generation a healthier, safer, more prosperous environment.

We're also working with our colleagues at the federal level. By collaborating, EPA and the Department of Energy are ensuring alternative fuels are cleaner, more affordable, and readily available.

Just last week, I announced the Renewable Fuels Standard, also referred to as RFS. I appreciate the cooperation of America's hard-working refiners who helped make this announcement possible. Under this rule, the annual amount of required renewable fuel use increases each year. So by the year 2012, 7.5 billion gallons of fuel being pumped into gas tanks across the county will be made from homegrown crops and renewable resources.

The RFS calls upon America's innovative spirit by providing incentives to spur advances in cutting-edge technology, infrastructure and farming methods. For years, this country has produced ethanol from corn and biodiesel from soybeans. The challenge now is to produce renewable fuels from cellulosic materials at a cost that will be competitive with petroleum products.

EPA is proud to be helping our environmental partners develop innovative solutions to our nation's energy challenge. By working in collaboration, not confrontation, we are encouraging voluntary renewable energy programs that are driving our environmental successes. EPA's programs are enabling our partners in industry to reduce their environmental footprints in cost-effective ways.

Take for example EPA's Green Power Partnership. Through this voluntary program, EPA and our environmental partners are meeting President Bush's call to green our nation's energy.

Green power offers a cleaner, renewable source of electricity generation that has little or no impact on the environment. The Green Power Partnership has helped our nation grow its green energy suppliers to more than 700 utilities, which is over 20 percent of America's utilities.

Another example is our ENERGY STAR program. This common-sense program encourages businesses and consumers to make energy efficient choices that are good for the environment and good for the bottom line.

ENERGY STAR offers a proven energy management strategy that helps businesses measure current energy performance, set goals and reward improvements.

And ENERGY STAR is helping consumers save too. In 2006 alone, Americans, by purchasing ENERGY STAR products, saved $14 billion on their utility bills, all while saving enough energy to prevent greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those from 25 million cars.

Together, we are creating a lasting environmental legacy for future generations of Americans.
I'd like to highlight one more renewable energy program that is changing the way we think about and use energy; it's called EPA's Landfill Methane Outreach Program. Together with businesses, energy providers, and communities, EPA is promoting cost effective and environmentally beneficial uses for landfill gas.

By capturing the power of landfill gases, we are building on two of President Bush's goals: developing alternative and renewable sources of energy and reducing domestic greenhouse gas production. I'm pleased to report that EPA's policies and programs will contribute 70 percent of the reductions necessary to meet the President's greenhouse emissions target.

These are exciting times when it comes to developing cleaner sources of energy. The President has set big goals for our nation's energy security, economic well-being and environmental health and I am confident that we can meet them, in part with help from the people in this very room.

Over EPA's 35 years, we have learned that when working alone, environmental progress can be limited. However, when we work in collaboration with our partners, our environmental successes can accelerate at a remarkable pace.

Collaboration is essential as we work to develop a clean, secure energy future. Learning from our state and local partners, industry, and NGOs, we can tap into sources of information and expertise that go beyond what our Agency alone could provide.

Once again, I want to thank Governor Huntsman for the opportunity to speak here today.

And I want to thank all of our state partners, oil refiners, ethanol and biodiesel producers, environmental organizations and the agricultural community, for working with us to develop smart solutions to our nation's energy challenges.

Together, with our partners, we are not only building on our nation's environmental accomplishments, we are creating a lasting legacy for future generations of Americans.

Working with leaders like you, we will keep our nation moving down the road toward greater energy security, stronger local economies, and a healthier environment.

Thank you, and I wish you much success for the remainder of your summit.