SLAC Today logo

Slowing Global Warming: California Leads U.S. With Energy Standards

With the spotlight on global warming, legislators are starting to place greater emphasis on improving energy efficiency. California has long set the pace for policies and technologies that encourage efficiency, making it the least energy consuming state.

"Efficiency standards are so easy, and few people even notice them," said California Energy Commissioner Arthur Rosenfeld. "Energy efficiency is the cheapest, fastest, most reliable way to reduce the emissions of CO2."

In today's colloquium, Rosenfeld will explain how small improvements in efficiency standards save money and slow the process of global warming. Currently, the United States lags behind the rest of the industrialized world in efficiency standards and leads in per capita carbon dioxide emissions. But with tighter utility regulations proposed through 2008, California could lead the country to a brighter efficiency outlook, making $3 billion in the process, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council.

"Energy efficiency won't solve the entire problem of global warming, but it will get us halfway there, and profitably," said Rosenfeld, who invented the highly efficient compact fluorescent light bulb.

In his lecture, From the Lab to the Marketplace to Standards, the particle physicist-turned energy guru will describe how improvements in California have contributed positively to the U.S. economy and have helped decrease energy dependency, emphasizing the need to continue tightening standards to prevent further global warming.

The colloquium takes place at 4:15 p.m. in Panofsky Auditorium. All are invited to attend.

—Alison Drain, February 5, 2007

Above image: California Energy Commissioner Arthur Rosenfeld