CBS Newsletter
Summer 1995
pg. 3

Aerial view of Washington D.C.

News From the D.C. Office

Seminars Explore Energy Policies & Technologies

As part of our effort to communicate with customers and colleagues in the Washington area, the LBNL-D.C. office sponsors a series of breakfast seminars on research and policy topics of current interest. We've held six seminars this spring, each attended by 15 to 25 invited guests from the Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Agency for International Development, nongovernmental organizations, Congressional committee staff, and D.C. staff of other national laboratories.

On March 2, Jim McMahon of LBNL's Energy Analysis Program described LBNL's important contribution to national energy-efficiency standards for appliances. LBNL has provided analytical support to DOE for more than 15 years, contributing significantly to the program's success. LBNL analyses of expected impacts on consumers, manufacturers, utilities, and the environment have improved DOE's understanding of the appliance market and technologies. These detailed analyses will become more valuable to policymakers as some DOE standard-setting shifts to a negotiated rulemaking process. For more information, contact Jim McMahon at 510-486-6049.

Bill Fisk of the Indoor Environment Program presented a talk on March 23 addressing the enormous potential benefit of improving indoor environmental quality in commercial and public buildings. There is considerable evidence that improved indoor environmental quality can reduce infectious diseases, symptoms of allergies and asthma, the symptoms associated with sick building syndrome, and the failures of electronic equipment while enhancing workers' physical and mental performance. The potential productivity gains are on the order of $40 billion per year in the U.S. LBNL is a national leader in laboratory and field research on how to improve indoor environments in an energy-efficient manner. High-quality indoor environments can be attained through a variety of practical, energy-efficient measures, such as better ventilation and air filtration and well-designed lighting. If you'd like more information, you can reach Bill Fisk at 510-486-5910.

"Sustainable transportation" was the topic of Lee Schipper's seminar on April 26. Co-leader of the International Energy Studies group in the Energy Analysis Program, Lee described sustainable transportation systems as an elusive but critically important goal that involves far more than energy concerns. Transportation has a tremendous impact not only on energy use and pollution, but also on the quality of life in urban and rural areas. This clearly applies to industrial countries, but it is increasingly an issue in developing countries as well. Long-term solutions must be market-based as well as technological. Fuel taxes, "feebates" and other policies that internalize environmental externalities are needed to reduce fuel use and travel growth. Lee sparked a lively discussion of possible market-based pricing policies that the U.S. and other countries could adopt to reduce low-occupancy vehicle use. Contact Lee Schipper at 510-486-5057.

Jim Cole, Director of the California Institute for Energy Efficiency, along with Anthony Sebald of UC San Diego and Eng Lock Lee, of Supersymmetry, Inc., presented a seminar on April 28 on CIEE-funded research to improve building energy performance through better diagnostic information and operator feedback. This new collaborative project will explore and demonstrate ways to improve monitoring, data archiving, analysis, and data visualization so that operating problems can be diagnosed quickly and this information can be more usable by building operators. For more information contact Jim Cole at 510-486-4123.

On May 24, Willett Kempton of the University of Delaware spoke on his recently published book Environmental Values in American Culture coauthored by James Boster of UC Irvine. In late June, Alex Bell of LBNL and UC Berkeley led a seminar called "Enhancing the Durability of Automobile Emission Control Catalysts." For details on either talk, call the LBNL-D.C. office at 202-484-0880.

—Nancy Casey-McCabe and Jeffrey Harris

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Nancy Casey-McCabe & Jeffrey Harris
Environmental Energy Technologies Division
1250 Maryland Ave. SW, Suite 150
(202) 484-0880

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