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Jerry Brown’s Plan to Increase Energy Efficiency

Like many of us, California Attorney General Jerry Brown is concerned about the world’s energy appetite and its repercussions for the environment (see our Aug. 20 post). Brown is one of several national leaders invited by “The Wall Street Journal” to share his ideas on how to allocate dwindling resources to solve the world’s problems.

“The cost of energy in the United States, on an annual basis, has now soared beyond $1 trillion,” says Brown. Concerned about the potential dangers of continuing to rely on foreign oil, Brown recommends:

  • Instituting federal energy efficiency regulations and programs, and
  • Creating financial incentives to encourage both individuals and businesses to embrace energy efficient measures.

Brown would use successful California energy programs as a model for a national program. He notes, “California has kept its per capita electrical consumption flat for the past 25 years — in significant part through appliance and building standards and incentives to adopt ways that get more work out of less energy.” Brown recommends setting tough but practical energy efficiency standards for appliances and equipment based on the best available technology.

Brown also recommends establishing efficiency standards for new buildings; a system of rebates, tax credits and other financial incentives; increased research and development funding of new technologies and fuel sources; and tough federal and state regulations. (Click here to read Brown’s complete response.)