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Speeches By EPA Administrator

 

Administrator Johnson, ENERGY STAR Change a Light, Change the World Bus Tour, Anaheim, C.A.

10/03/2007
Hello, and thank you all for joining us as we kick off the ENERGY STAR Change a Light, Change the World campaign.

This month, EPA and the U.S. Department of Energy are taking a 20-day national bus tour to inspire Americans to switch to energy efficient lighting. And I think it’s great that we’re launching this coast-to-coast tour right here at Disneyland – a place where magic comes to life.

As you may know, I am a scientist by training, so I don’t deal in the realm of magic very often. But I can tell you, these ENERGY STAR bulbs are as magical as you’re going to get.

You see, these little bulbs are enchanted with the power to help us protect the environment, while keeping more money in our pockets. That’s because ENERGY STAR qualified bulbs use 75 percent less electricity and last up to 10 times longer than traditional bulbs.

I know, there are some people who might say, “Steve, how can changing one lightbulb really make a difference.” And to be honest, I was a little skeptical myself. But that was before we tallied up the savings, and discovered that if every American household switched just one traditional bulb to a high-efficiency ENERGY STAR bulb, we would save enough power to light more than three million homes … save $600 million in energy costs … and prevent the greenhouse gas emission equal to more than 800,000 cars. And these savings happen every year.

So together, through ENERGY STAR’s Change a Light, Change the World campaign, we can brighten America’s future – literally – one light at a time.

And today, we’re taking that message on the road.

At EPA, we believe that environmental responsibility is everyone’s responsibility. Thankfully, America is shifting to a “green culture,” with consumers embracing energy-efficient products, from cars and televisions, to light fixtures and light bulbs.

By going cost-to-coast, and stopping in 10 cities over 20 days, this bus will help us inform more Americans about the importance of choosing energy efficient lighting. In addition, the interactive education center – sponsored by ENERGY STAR partner, JCPenny – will teach people about how to use and dispose of compact fluorescent lamps responsibly, and the connection between our individual energy use and our climate footprint.

And my personal favorite is the energy comparison bicycle, where you experience first-hand how much more you have to pedal to power a standard light bulb versus an energy-efficient one.

We hope these displays will inspire everyone to use energy more efficiently.

I encourage you to go check out the bike and everything else the education center has to offer. And while you’re there, you can take a close look at the bus itself.

Provided to us by Motor Coach Industries, the bus is one of the most environmentally responsible options available today. Not only is it powered by a clean diesel engine and fueled by ultra-low sulfur diesel, its engine is fitted with a scrubber to eliminate soot emissions.

And while the bus is taking a 5,000 mile journey, the change-out of just 60 conventional bulbs to ENERGY STAR-qualified bulbs will offset the carbon emissions from the entire trip – that’s just a fraction of all the bulbs we’re giving away today!

People can track the bus tour on EPA’s web site, as well as join me – and nearly 900,000 others – in taking the Change a Light pledge at www.energystar.gov.

Since its invention, the lightbulb has been the symbol of a good idea. Now, through ENERGY STAR, we’re turning it into the sign of a great idea.

And together, we are brightening America’s future, one light at a time.

However, none of this could happen without the support of our partners. For the past several years, our host, Disneyland Resorts, has been working with us to make their facilities more energy-efficient. So I want to thank Disney for being a corporate leader, and for helping us prove that doing what’s good for the environment is also good for the bottom line.

I would also like to thank Sylvania – a manufacturer of high efficiency light bulbs – for being a leading participant in the national ENERGY STAR Change a Light Campaign since its inception eight years ago.

Once again, I appreciate them, and all of you, for joining us today. It’s important that we spread the word that protecting the environment, while saving money, is as easy as changing a light.

Thank you.