By Jeremy Rifkin | October 13, 2005
It appears that the president and his team do not understand the enormity of the energy crisis facing the United States and the world. The White House clearly needs guidance. The president should download the just published European Union Green Paper on Energy Efficiency (europa.eu.int/comm/energy/efficiency/index_en.htm). The paper lays out a detailed survivor's guide, a roadmap of what every individual, family, community, and country -- including the United States -- can do to cushion the cost shock of rising oil prices.
According to the report, the European member states alone could save at least 20 percent of their present energy consumption for a net savings of 60 billion euros per year, by enacting tough energy conservation programs across European society -- in homes, commercial buildings, factories, and transport. The EU report says the United States could save far more with widespread adoption of energy conservation practices since the United States currently wastes approximately 50 percent more energy than the European Union to produce one unit of GDP.