Clinton orders conservation in Northwest

President Bill Clinton ordered federal facilities in the Northwest, which is experiencing tight electricity supplies, to join those in California that are already reducing their electricity consumption during peak hours. Noting the Northwest faces the possibility of electricity shortages in some areas, putting both consumers and businesses at risk, Clinton said the order will help keep lights and heat on in homes and businesses across the West.


President Bill Clinton ordered federal facilities in the Northwest, which is experiencing tight electricity supplies, to join those in California that are already reducing their electricity consumption during peak hours.

Noting the Northwest faces the possibility of electricity shortages in some areas, putting both consumers and businesses at risk, Clinton said the order will help keep lights and heat on in homes and businesses across the West.

"Currently, the supply of electric power is tight on the West Coast due to record demand for electricity," Clinton said in his weekly radio address Saturday.

As one of the largest electricity consumers in the West, it is important the federal government lead by example in taking energy conserving steps to reduce the risk and severity of power outages, he said.

Clinton directed managers of federal buildings in Washington and Oregon join those in California and take steps to reduce consumption of power to the maximum extent practicable consistent with public health and welfare, and that of employees.

He ordered federal agencies coordinate with state and local government agencies to minimize use of electricity in all government buildings in Washington, Oregon, and California.

Clinton noted Energy Sec. Bill Richardson has extended an emergency order to power plants providing electricity to California to keep the power flowing in that state.

He also said he asked the US Small Business Administration (SBA) to inform small businesses with high energy costs of special SBA loans that will allow them to stretch out their energy payments. Clinton said the loans could be a big help for businesses trying to get through a cold winter.

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