AUSTIN, Texas - The United States faces serious consequences if it continues current energy consumption without developing alternative energy sources, new technology, and increased efficiency, according to former U.S. Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham, who served as the keynote speaker at an energy symposium in Austin, Texas.

“We face serious energy management challenges on a number of fronts,” said Abraham. “We won’t be able to address these challenges without the kind of collaboration between the public and private sectors that this conference seeks to achieve.”

The event was the second in a series hosted by Eaton Corp., which the company said is part of its continuing effort to provide leaders from the public sector and industry with the tools they need to navigate the evolving needs for improved energy management.

In addition to providing insights into the prospects of passage of a comprehensive energy bill, Abraham also pointed to initiatives such as Building STAR, supported by Democrats and Republicans in Congress, a broad coalition of trade associations, labor groups, environmental organizations, and businesses including Eaton, which is intended to help decrease carbon emissions, increase energy efficiency, and create jobs.

“Energy is not a Republican or Democratic issue,” said Abraham. “It’s an American issue. We have to set aside our differences and work collaboratively toward a greener, cleaner, and more energy efficient future. Companies like Eaton are leading the way, moving the United States from discussion into action when it comes to better managing, developing, and conserving our precious energy resources.”

State Sen. Kirk Watson delivered closing remarks at the half-day event, and local and state experts, including State Rep. Solomon Ortiz, City of Austin Council Member Randi Shade, and Brewster McCracken, executive director of the Pecan Street Project, provided commentary on topics ranging from hybrid electric vehicles to green buildings.

Eaton will host the third in its series of energy events in Chicago on June 7. For more information, visit

Publication date:05/24/2010