In 1997, more than 2,500 economists, including six Nobel Laureates, said the
U.S. could cut emissions -- up to 30 percent by some estimates -- simply through
efficiency and conservation -- at a net gain in jobs and productivity to
the U.S. economy.
In Clean Energy Blueprint:
The Union of Concerned Scientists, The American Council
for an Energy-Efficient Economy and the Tellus Institute found in 2001 that:
The United States can:
- Meet at least 20 percent of its electricity needs by
renewable energy sources -- wind, biomass, geothermal, and solar -- by 2020.
- Save consumers a total of $440 billion by 2020, with
annual savings reaching $105 billion per year or $350 for a typical family.
- Reduce the use of natural gas by 31 percent and coal
by nearly 60 percent compared to business-as-usual by 2020, and save more
oil in 18 years than can be economically recovered from the Arctic National
Wildlife Refuge in 60 years.
- Simultaneously avoid the need for 975 new power
plants (300 megawatts each), retire 180 old coal plants (500 MW each),
retire 14 existing nuclear plants (1,000 MW each), and reduce the need for
hundreds of thousands of miles of new gas pipelines and electricity
- Reduce carbon dioxide emissions by two-thirds from
business-as-usual by 2020, while also reducing harmful air emissions of
sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides by more than 55 percent