Carbon emissions dropping, energy chief says - KPTV - FOX 12

Carbon emissions dropping, energy chief says

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Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said that the president's energy policy is helping find substitutes for coal. (Source: FOX) Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said that the president's energy policy is helping find substitutes for coal. (Source: FOX)

WASHINGTON, DC (FOX) - Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz says the United States is working hard to become energy independent.

It's a goal the Energy Department hopes to accomplish by implementing new strategies that will help reduce carbon emissions and help create jobs.

Moniz says the Obama Administration has also already done a great deal to reduce the country's overall carbon emissions.

"About half of the drop we've seen in our carbon emissions are due in fact to this increase in low to moderate priced gas," he said. "Particularly through its substitution for coal in the electricity center. So again, we are producing a lot more gas. But we are using it as it sometimes is referred to as part of the bridge to a lower carbon future."

He said there is a three-pronged effort in place to cut oil dependency.

"First, efficiency standards for vehicles - the cafe standards enacted during the president's first term are projected to save 2 million barrels per day of oil by 2025 and to save the United States $1.7 trillion in fuel costs. The other prongs of this approach is an ongoing commitment to develop next generation bio-fuels. And those costs are coming down. And finally to continue to advance, electrification of vehicles and once again the cost of vehicle batteries has dropped significantly in the last four or five years. We have another ways to go, another factor or two or three but we should really keep focusing on the fact that these costs are dropping."

He added that long-term solutions to reducing the risk of climate change will require change in demand as well as boosting the supply of clean energy.

"One of the ways the department of energy is moving forward on this is by picking up the pace on issuing appliance efficiency standards," he said. "Already in 2014 we have finalized efficiency rules, two efficiency rules, covering metal halide lamp fixtures, and external power supplies. No individual one of these may sound overwhelming but the cumulative effect of all our new efficiency standards will be to reduce U.S. carbon dioxide emissions between 2005 and 2030 by more than 3 billion tons."

Moniz appeared before the National Press Club, and has been traveling throughout the country to promote the president's new energy strategy, which hopes to transform the nation's fossil fuel-based economy to a low-carbon one.

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