EEC Board Member Cavanagh writes Op-ed in New York Times

September 13, 2013

By Jonathan Mao • UC Davis 2014

Ralph Cavanagh, a board member of the UC Davis Energy Efficiency Center and co-director of the energy program at the Natural Resources Defense Council, has written an op-ed piece on the New York Times Opinion Pages regarding the current direction we are moving toward in energy use.

Rather than an “all of the above” approach to energy efficiency, including more drilling for oil, increased use of nuclear power, and more pipelines, Mr. Cavanagh sees the best solution as one option: increasingly efficient usage of the resources we already possess.

He refers to President Obama’s climate action plan, which he describes as “our most productive and lowest-cost option: the ‘energy efficiency resources’ that come from getting more out of oil, natural gas and electricity with increasingly efficient equipment and vehicles, used more carefully.” This trend of using our current natural resources as efficiently as possible has made great strides toward boosting the United States’ economic productivity, according to Cavanagh.

Mr. Cavanagh also outlines future steps that he believes must be taken in order for this trend of increased energy efficiency to continue.

“First, the federal and state governments must keep tightening efficiency standards for buildings, equipment and vehicles…Second, the Environmental Protection Agency must reduce carbon dioxide emissions from new and existing power plants…[and] state regulators should reward utilities for helping residential, business and industrial customers use energy more efficiently,” Cavanagh writes.

Keeping on this track of increased energy efficiency, Cavanagh believes the United States can become increasingly economically productive, stating “as the president knows, it is far better to give priority to efficiency improvements that cost less than the energy they displace.”

To read the article, visit: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/13/opinion/how-we-learned-not-to-guzzle.html?_r=0