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MOU Signing with DOE and HUD on Energy Efficiency, Washington, D.C.

Remarks of Governor Christine Todd Whitman
Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
at the
MOU Signing with Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Mel Martinez and Department of Energy Assistant Secretary David Garman
Green Room
Washington, D.C.

September 17, 2002

I = m pleased to be here today with Secretary (Mel) Martinez and Assistant Secretary (Dave) Garman to solidify the commitment of EPA, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Department of Energy to work together towards achieving the goals of the President = s National Energy Policy.

The president = s plan calls for the promotion of energy efficiency and this is an area where the federal government can and must lead by example. Since 1992, EPA = s Energy Star program has been a leader in this area. The Energy Star program provides government agencies, businesses, and consumers with the information they need to choose energy efficient products that save money and protect the environment.

In 1995, EPA partnered with the Department of Energy to bring Energy Star to American families and today, we are building on that successful partnership by joining the Department of Housing and Urban Development to help even more Americans become energy efficient.

The Energy Star label can now be found on over 35 different product categories for the home and office. More than 13,000 different product models carry the leading symbol of energy efficiency around the world. Last year alone, Americans, with the help of Energy Star, saved $5 billion dollars on their energy bills, while preventing the pollution associated with that of 10 million cars.

Though most of us think of cars when we think of emissions, the reality is that an average home emits twice as much carbon dioxide as an automobile. As a result, using Energy Star products and building new homes that earn the Energy Star label helps our environment. An Energy Star labeled home can keep 4,500 pounds of greenhouse gases out of our air each year. When one in ten new homes meets the Energy Star specifications B this will be equal to removing 600,000 cars from the road for one year.

Not only does the environment benefit, but consumers also reap the rewards of being energy efficient. Energy Star can help many households save up to 30 percent on their home energy bills, a savings between $200 and $400 annually.

As a steward of the nation = s public and affordable housing, the Department of Housing and Urban Development plays a direct role in providing these benefits of the Energy Star program to the families they serve.

Working together, EPA, DOE, and HUD can further the President = s energy goals by incorporating energy efficient products and practices throughout an affordable housing market that accounts for 5 percent of all housing nationwide. We have seen the success that can be had when agencies come together with shared resources and knowledge to achieve our goals.

Promoting energy efficiency and protecting our environment are goals, that in order to accomplish, will take a similar commitment to cooperation. It will also take the support of our partners in the business community, and I = m pleased to see many of you from the housing and energy service industry here today. We appreciate the work you do to deliver energy efficiency to the affordable housing market.

I want to thank Assistant Secretary Garman and Secretary Martinez for their leadership on this important issue. At this time, I = d like to ask Assistant Secretary Dave Garman to say a few words. [Assistant Secretary Garman Speaks] [CTW Return to Podium]

Thank you. Now, I = d like to invite Secretary Martinez to speak for a few minutes. [Secretary Mel Martinez Speaks] [CTW Return to Podium]

Thank you. And now, if both of you will join me in signing the memorandum of understanding. [All Sign MOU] Thank you and at this time we can answer any questions.