October is Energy Awareness Month. What’s more, October first got this designation from the first President Bush in 1991.

Why do I know this? Because the only people I have ever met who know about Energy Awareness Month are people who have worked at the Department of Energy. I’m going to change all that with this blog post, which will probably double the number of people aware of Energy Awareness Month. Don’t worry, though, the DOE has made it easy to take action:

To help you customize your energy awareness program, You Have the Power campaign artwork is available for you to download from the images [on this website].

doe_campaign_0207_sm.gifThis is my favorite downloadable poster. Click on the image for animation — I could watch it for hours. And yes, since you ask, the energy savings from walking one or two flights of stairs instead of using an elevator is humongous — easily equal to those cancelled Kansas coal plants. Easily! (Although if there are other people waiting for the elevator, then it was going to run anyway, but don’t go all techno-nerd on me — it is the thought that counts!)

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Now I know you have been waiting to hear what the second President Bush thinks of this. You probably believe he has presided over some 80 consecutive months of Energy Unawareness — but in fact he cares deeply about Energy Awareness Month, as he made crystal clear last year with Proclamation 8068 – National Energy Awareness Month, 2006:

Our Nation is moving toward remarkable technological advances that will make energy cleaner, more abundant, and more affordable for our citizens. During National Energy Awareness Month, we underscore our commitment to a more secure energy future.

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My administration is working to improve energy efficiency and conservation, increase our domestic supply of energy, and diversify our energy supply through advanced technologies. Since 2001, we have invested nearly $10 billion in the development of cleaner, less expensive, and more reliable energy sources. We developed a comprehensive National Energy Policy, and last year I signed into law the Energy Policy Act of 2005 — the first comprehensive energy bill in more than a decade.

My Administration’s Advanced Energy Initiative seeks to diversify energy resources by substantially increasing funding for clean-energy research. To change how we power our homes and offices, we will invest more in zero-emission coal-fired plants, revolutionary solar and wind technologies, and clean, safe nuclear energy. We will focus on improving hybrid and hydrogen technologies for our automobiles and increasing the use of biofuels. By harnessing the power of technology, we can grow our economy, protect our environment, and enhance our energy security.

Technology is also helping develop new energy-saving products that give our consumers better performance at a lower cost. At home, energy-efficient windows reduce the loss of hot and cold air, and high efficiency light-bulbs last longer than traditional bulbs while requiring less electricity. The Federal Government’s Energy Savers website, energysavers.gov, offers more information about how to use less energy in homes, offices, and vehicles, and how consumers can save money on energy costs.

Meeting our growing energy needs will require creativity, determination, and discipline. By working together, we can foster economic growth, improve our environment, and leave behind a safer, cleaner, more prosperous world for future generations.

Now, Therefore, I, George W. Bush, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim October 2006 as National Energy Awareness Month. I encourage Americans to take steps to conserve energy and develop responsible habits that will reduce energy consumption in their everyday lives.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this twelfth day of October, in the year of our Lord two thousand six, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-first.

George W. Bush

It brings a tear to my eye every time I read it. We shouldn’t sacrifice for our men and women in arms fighting the Iraq war, but we should conserve and reduce energy consumption for one month out of the year anyway!

I just thought you should be aware of this.

This post was created for ClimateProgress.org, a project of the Center for American Progress Action Fund.