ENVIRONMENT
03/20/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

One Step Ahead: Clinton Pushes LED Bulbs In Los Angeles

Subjects as mundane as lightbulbs and insulation would be deadly-dull stuff in the hands of a less gifted public speaker, but since leaving office in 2001, Clinton has become something of a crusader for unsexy fixes such as building retrofits to generate U.S. jobs, cutting dependence on foreign oil and slashing carbon dioxide emissions.

Appearing at City Hall with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Clinton announced a partnership between his Clinton Climate Initiative and the city to refit 140,000 Los Angeles street lights with energy-saving light-emitting diodes, or LEDs. The program is projected to save taxpayers an estimated $48 million over seven years in lower energy costs while removing the carbon dioxide equivalent of 6,700 cars a year from the road.

"If every city followed the example of Los Angeles and reduced the electricity used by their street lights by 50%, it would be equivalent to eliminating over 2 1/2 . . . coal plants per year," Clinton said.

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