The Wall Street Journal ran a special section today devoted to energy conservation, “Less Power to the People,” which included such tips as inflating your tires properly to reduce gas mileage; purchasing low-energy light bulbs; and watching the ticker on those hot ethanol stocks. (Unfortunately, a subscription is required to read it online.)

Let’s be grateful to lead author Rebecca Smith. First, for being straight in her introduction:

Conservation seems a much more feasible solution than quickly building dozens of new power plants to add generating capacity — especially if reducing emissions is a goal.

And, second, for going to bat with her editors to run the darn section.

I can’t help but notice the subtext in the editor’s note, by Lawrence Rout: This package was her idea (itals mine).

Rebecca Smith has been covering the ebb and flow of electricity crises for a decade, and she is convinced that this one will have a different ending. The forces for change, she believes, are aligned. Demand is rising, and supplies are tightening. Utilities and regulators are smarter about what works. And consumers are motivated to reduce their costs … That’s the premise of Rebecca’s story.

Normally editors aren’t so quick to draw a distinction between a staffer’s reporting and the newspaper’s point of view. But, hey, the section ran. Most folks probably don’t read editors’ notes. If there was a minor war in the newsroom, Rebecca Smith won.