November 2011 CEA Newsletter
Looking Back and Looking Forward
It’s been a busy fall here at CEA. In October we hosted our annual meeting, where we reflected on our work of the past year. We also gathered thousands of supporters for our first ever Energy Day – the culmination of months of planning –where we sponsored games and contests and even gave out some scholarship money, all aimed at getting our youth engaged in their future.
Those who took part in Energy Day underscored how we all have the ability to build a better future by imagining one. To cite one example of that creative thinking the event produced, one group of middle school girls won the Energy City of the Future competition by building a model of a city where the streets are lined with solar panels, the buildings are warmed with geothermal heat from the ground, and a broad assortment of natural resources are tapped to fuel a city that runs effectively and efficiently.
Of course, not every day can be Energy Day, literally or figuratively. As important as it is to take a break from the daily grind and think outside the box, CEA is also committed to tackling the energy challenges of today. Over the past several months, CEA has been working tirelessly to help ensure that the United States makes the most of its natural resources. We produced the Open the Gulf campaign featuring real people – from a variety of businesses, often located far from the Gulf – who have been hurt by reduced drilling activity. We’ve also championed the proposed Keystone XL project, which would connect major refiners in the Gulf with key oil producers in Canada, helping ensure a steady supply of oil from a friendly source. And, we’ve consistently been a vocal supporter of shale gas, which is increasingly being recognized as a key fuel of the future.
This work we do day in and day out sometimes feels like an uphill battle. But we continue to champion these causes in order to help ensure that consumers can access affordable energy.
Consumers too, must put in the hard work to ensure they are consuming energy wisely. To that end, our energy tip of the month is a simple task that too many households overlook: Have your furnace or heating system cleaned and inspected before the really cold weather sets in. The relatively small investment in a tune-up is important not only to make sure your heater is safe; it will also improve efficiency, which will pay dividends as those dreaded wintertime heating bills arrive.
Support Affordable Energy
Nuclear energy supplies over 20% of America’s electricity needs and will continue to play a critical role in powering America. Thanks to the ingenuity and innovation of tens of thousands of workers from around the world, the American nuclear industry remains the global leader, safely supplying affordable, reliable electricity to millions of homes.
However, the vitality of this important industry is in jeopardy. Currently, the Department of Energy is seeking to implement a burdensome regulation that could limit the ability of American utilities to continue to supply reliable, affordable electricity.
As our fragile economy struggles to recover, new layers of onerous regulations from Washington bureaucrats such as these will force additional costs onto struggling families and limit the ability of American businesses to serve their customers, create jobs and help grow the economy.
News and Notes from the CEA Annual Meeting
In a new feature for the CEA Monthly Newsletter, we will begin to bring to our readers a monthly breakdown of what takes place at the CEA monthly meetings. On October 20, CEA held its annual meeting in Washington, D.C. Over the course of the 2 hour meeting, a number of updates were given by the CEA Board of Directors as well as CEA staff.
At the meeting Chairman Richard Moskowitz provided his 2011 update filled with positive news for CEA in 2011 and beyond. The first of Chairman Moskowitz’s announcements concerned CEA’s growing membership which has risen to nearly 170 affiliate members as of October 2011. The composition of CEA’s membership remains a majority consumer per the CEA bylaws. Currently the affiliate list is comprised of 65% consumers and 35% producers. CEA has also opened and expanded regional chapters in Alaska, Florida, the Southeast and the Midwest (Please read below for an update of CEA Midwest activity. Chairman Moskowitz concluded his update with the vote and confirmation of new CEA Board of Directors member, Troy Bredenkamp. Mr. Bredenkamp comes to the board from CEA affiliate member, Colorado Farm Bureau (CFB)
After the Chairman’s update, meeting attendees were updated on the results of CEA’s Keystone XL campaign. The State Department’s public comment period on the Keystone XL pipeline concluded on October 9, 2011 and CEA made a tremendous effort to gain support for the pipeline. CEA’s efforts in collaboration with over 22 state-based organizations garnered a staggering 450,000 comments in favor of the Keystone XL Pipeline. CEA also drove over 70 witnesses to testify at the 9 public hearings held in September and October.
CEA also provided an update of the newest groups to join CEA’s group of affiliates. CEA would like to welcome new groups Freedom Solar, LLC, National Tank Truck Carriers and the Gulf Economic Survival Team.
That was just a snap shot of CEA’s Annual Meeting. Next month we will provide a glimpse into CEA’s November monthly meeting. Stay tuned!
Energy Day 2011 Recap
On October 15, 2011 75 sponsors and partners, over 60 exhibitors and the people of Houston, TX made Energy Day 2011 a can’t-miss event. The crowd was treated to exhibits that covered all forms of energy from oil and natural gas to solar and hydropower and everything in between. Of the over 60 exhibits, 43 were occupied by those representing renewable energy or educational groups. At Energy Day those who participated in and won at an Energy Day Academic Awards Program competition were awarded for their excellence and commitment to energy and education. Festival patrons were also treated to an appearance by Houston Mayor, Annise Parker who took to the stage to deliver an awe inspiring speech that showcased all of the positive steps Houston-area businesses have taken in energy innovation. At the end of the day over 12,000 attendees made for a fantastic day that showcased energy efficiency, innovation and conservation. The official press release detailing Energy Day’s success can be found here.
CEA would also like to take the time to thank all of our partners and sponsors for their contribution to Energy Day. Without them none of this would have been possible. Thanks to all of Energy Day’s partners/sponsors:
ABC-13/KTRK-TV, Air Transport Association, American Public Power Association, Anadarko, Apache, ASES Houston Solar Tour, Bug Ware, Inc., Caterpillar, CenterPoint Energy, Children’s Museum of Houston, City of Houston, ConocoPhillips, Consumer Energy Alliance, Consumer Energy Education Foundation, Cooperative for After-School Enrichment (CASE), CSTEM Teacher & Student Support Services, Earth Quest Institute, Eco-Holdings Engineering, El Paso Corporation, Energy People Connect, Environmentally Friendly Drilling Program, eVgo, Foundation for Energy Education, Geophysical Society of Houston, German American Chamber of Commerce of the Southern US, Inc., Greater Houston Partnership, Halliburton, Harris County Department of Education, Hess Corporation, Houston Advanced Research Center, Houston Area Land Rover Centers, Houston Community College-Northeast Energy Institute, Houston Geological Society, Houston Independent School District, Houston Museum of Natural Science, Wiess Energy Hall, Houston Northwest Chamber of Commerce – Energize! Houston, Houston Renewable Energy Group, Houston Renewable Energy Network, Houston Technology Center, HoustonWorks USA, Ignite Solar, Independent Natural Resources, International Power | GDF Suez, KBR, Inc., Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP), Lone Star College System, Momentum Luxury Group , NASA-Johnson Space Center, National Algae Association, NRG Energy | Reliant Energy, Offshore Energy Center, Purestream, Inc., San Jacinto College – Energy Venture Camp, Schlumberger, Science & Engineering Fair of Houston, Shell, 60 Plus Association, Society of Exploration Geophysicists, Society of Women Engineers – Houston Area Section, Statoil, Texas Alliance for Minorities in Engineering, Texas Sol Renewable, Texas Southern University, Jesse H. Jones School of Business, Texas TicKids, The Wind Alliance, TransCanada, TXU Energy, United Airlines, University of Houston, University of Texas, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for 21st Century Energy, U.S. DOE Gulf Coast Clean Energy Application Center, Waste Management, Western Energy Alliance, YES Prep Public School
CEA In the News
This month we would like to introduce another new feature to the CEA monthly newsletter called “CEA in the Media” to better highlight for all our consumer-advocates what CEA is doing to continue to ensure a broad understanding that energy, energy prices and energy policies have impacts on all consumers.
October was a very active month for CEA as far as media is concerned. Throughout the month of October CEA received over 90 media hits from radio, TV, blogs, news articles, press releases and more. This success is due in large part to CEA’s participation in the Open the Gulf Campaign, Keystone XL comment period and Energy Day.
A few of the highlights of CEA’s recent media success:
- Open the Gulf Campaign (www.openthegulf.org)
- An Augusta Chronicle Op-Ed stating the benefits the state of Georgia would receive from a return to normal Gulf production levels.
- A US News and World Report article detailing the impact the Gulf slowdown has had on jobs and the economy.
- A Town Hall Op-Ed penned by CEA President, David Holt on the anniversary of the lifting of the moratorium on drilling in the Gulf.
- National Review ran this Op-Ed which showed how opening the Gulf of Mexico will benefit our nation’s energy security.
- Keystone XL
- CEA executive vice president Michael Whatley’s Op-Ed in the Lincoln journal Star
- CEA Press Release on the success of its efforts to garner public comments in favor of the Keystone XL Pipeline
- Michigan Chamber of Commerce announces support of the Keystone XL Pipeline
- A few arguments supporting the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline
- Energy Day
- The Houston Chronicle published an Op-Ed written by David Holt in conjunction with Mayor Annise Parker’s Director of Sustainability, Laura Spanjian
- CEA’s Press Release detailing the success of Houston’s inaugural Energy Day Festival.
- Houston Business Journal article about Energy Day.
- A Fuel Fix blog on Energy Day and its benefits.
That is just a small sampling of CEA’s public presence in the media over the past 31 days. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Craig Koshkin at CKoshkin@consumerenergyalliance.org.
German American Chamber of Commerce Presents Das Haus: Building Vision
Das Haus is a traveling pavilion, a North American tour and an ongoing international dialogue about advanced technologies for home construction and solar energy use. The purpose is to share German innovations that have achieved sustainable construction and operational energy savings. Attendees will represent leading organizations and businesses in building materials, architecture, engineering, renewable energy and energy efficiency businesses, universities, and public officials. It’s about the future of sustainable building and the resources and integration needed to reach that future.
The Das Haus goal is to share inspiration and engage sustainable building experts, associations, and key public officials across North America. From October 2011 to November 2012, the Das Haus pavilion tour, exhibition and accompanying events will travel throughout the US and Canada, making stops in 12 major cities. Be there.
The Das Haus tour will be making its way through Houston, Texas from November 8-17, 2011 at the Houston Permitting Center which is located at 1002 Washington Avenue. For more information on Das Haus please go to the event’s website: http://dashaustour.com/.
Save Energy This Holiday Season!
As you prepare for the holiday season, use a few of these easy, energy-efficient tips from the Environmental Protection Agency to save energy and reduce waste.
- Using a real tree? Contact your local community solid waste department for information on recycling. Alternatively, use a potted tree which can be planted.
- Unplug lights and decorations during the day to save energy and make your lights last longer.
- Look for holiday greeting cards made from recycled materials.
- Use reusable cloth shopping bags for toting holiday purchases rather than paper and plastic bags.
- Save gift wraps and ribbons for use on next year’s presents. Wrap presents for others in recycled trimmings you’ve saved.
- Use cloth napkins and reusable dishes and silverware for your holiday gatherings rather than disposable paper and plastics.
- Purchase rechargeable batteries for electronic gifts.
- Donate your children’s older or outgrown toys and books to charities and local libraries.
For more holiday energy saving tips, visit the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s website.