A new report by the Rocky Mountain Institute suggests that we wean ourselves from foreign oil, not by drilling in Alaska or the Rocky Mountains, but by using less of it. Titled U.S. Energy Security Facts, the report says energy efficiency saved Americans about $365 billion in 2000. Those savings are our nation’s biggest and fastest-growing energy “source,” equaling two-fifths of our annual supply.
But, according to author Amory Lovins, we could do
better: If the U.S. had run with the efficiency measures
implemented in the late 1970s and early 1980s — when oil use
and imports dropped even as our economy grew — we could have
eliminated all Persian Gulf oil imports by 2002. Instead, the
federal government abandoned efficiency increases, such as higher
mile-per-gallon requirements for automobiles, and Americans have
continued to rely on oil from the Gulf.
A new ad campaign
by the Sierra Club also highlights this failure, pointing out that
on Ford’s 100th anniversary, its average vehicle is now less
efficient than its first Model T.
For a copy of
Lovins’ report, visit www.rmi.org/sitepages/pid533.php or
call the Rocky Mountain Institute at 970-927-3851.