I believe that the Obama administration will move this country very quickly into a new era of sustainable energy use in a large part due to the federal employees working at the facilities, programs and departments of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy such as the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, and the Energy Star program to name a few. These folks have been steadily working, some for decades, on renewable energy, energy efficiency and energy conservation projects, programs and standards in spite of our government’s appearance of indifference to or ignorance of the importance of this issue.
In August of 2005 I began working with my Town to establish a Comprehensive Sustainable Energy Plan. At the time I believed we couldn’t wait for our government to lead us to a more sustainable energy future, we needed to act now. As they say, timing is everything and in September 2005, Katrina hit and our nation was thrust into a new awareness of an unsustainable energy source and climate change.
Over the next 19 months while working with fellow residents on our Town’s Comprehensive Sustainable Energy Planning Committee I discovered one of our Nation’s best kept secrets. There must be thousands if not tens of thousands of federal employees who have been conscientiously and quietly working for years developing sustainable energy technologies, energy efficiency standards, and energy conservation techniques. I was surprised to find information about this and much more posted on our federal government’s web sites. A lot of what we all need to know to take us into a sustainable energy future is already known and is easily accessible. The good work of these agencies and the information on these web sites is our tax dollars at work.
Amazingly almost all of the information I needed about energy efficient vehicles and appliances, renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, fuel cells, wave energy, biofuels, how to make your home more energy efficient, energy conservation, local, state, and federal tax incentives and rebates could be found on or through the websites created and maintained by our federal government.
As much as we deride the FED for being wasteful and inefficient, this is an example of our government, our people at their best. So next time you are browsing the internet, take a peek at the DOE, NREL, and Energy Star websites and say a thank you out loud to all the people whose work will take us into the dawning era of sustainability. I believe these folks deserve our recognition and our thanks. Here’s my big shout out to them, THANK YOU, you matter and you have made a difference.