The U.S. Energy Secretary predicts the world’s economy soon will become "carbon-constrained" to combat climate change. U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu says if technology is developed to use the whole plant and not just kernels of corn to make ethanol, half of the gasoline used in personal vehicles in the U.S. could be produced by farmers.
"The United States has got incredible potential for getting us off oil dependency of imported oil and we want to push this as hard as possible," Chu says. Chu was in Iowa Monday to announce the State of Iowa is getting 16-million dollars to distribute for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.
According to Chu, the nation’s carbon-reduction goals could be met by energy efficiency alone if technology advances. "When you build homes that are better insulated, with lighter-colored roofs, with proper windows and overhangs on the windows…you can reduce your heating and your especially cooling bills…by a substantial amount," Chu said.
"…People who have really looked into this in great detail have realized that you can save at least 50 percent (and) up to 80 percent in heating and cooling commercial buildings and certainly up to 50 percent in residential homes."
Chu, a St. Louis, Missouri, native, won the 1997 Nobel Prize for Physics. In January, he left his post at the University of California Berkeley to become U.S. Energy Secretary.