Before Tuesday, September 11, an energy policy rooted in conservation, efficiency and use of renewable sources was strongly desirable. After Tuesday, September 11, such a policy became absolutely imperative. Now we must conserve fuel for national security needs and to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. This means that the days of America's prodigious energy waste are over. This means we must move swiftly to implement a conservation policy and to maximize the huge benefits such a policy can produce. In short, we need to save huge amounts of energy and we need to do it quickly. As a practical matter, this can be done. The key is small business.
Here's why. America's 23 million small businesses now make up half of the economy, generating 51 percent of the private gross domestic product and, in the process, consuming massive amounts of energy. Small businesses in the main use energy inefficiently; one half to one third of this energy is wasted. Through better energy management, this wasted energy could be saved and small businesses could collectively save themselves billions of dollars each year.