U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords had some words for the Arizona Manufacturers Council last week.
“We know that the old ways of doing business are not the ways of doing business in the future,” Giffords said.
The incumbent in the District 8 congressional race gave the keynote address at the AMC’s 2008 Environment Summit last Wednesday.
The key point of her speech centered on a push for energy efficiency, adding that expanding offshore oil drilling alone cannot solve the current energy problem.
The environment has been a key platform for Giffords, who has advocated expanding solar power efforts in Southern Arizona and pushing for alternative fuels.
The congresswoman argued that there’s too much focus on the supply side of energy and not enough on the demand side.
That is, instead of focusing on the price of gasoline, people should drive less and seek out fuel-efficient cars.
Giffords listed a string of examples highlighting manufacturers’ efforts towards energy efficiency, including Frito-Lay pursuing a self-sufficient plant in Casa Grande and the University of Arizona freezing water at night to cut down cooling costs during the day.
The Arizona Manufacturers Council was formed earlier this year with the merging of the Arizona Association of Industries and the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry also echoed Giffords’ sentiments about a comprehensive energy plan.
“This is going to be one of the defining issues for the state and our country,” said Chamber President and CEO Glenn Hamer.
The chamber advocates many different approaches to the energy problem: pushing for greater efficiency, more money for research and development, an expansion of exploration and using more nuclear and coal power to meet demand.
“On energy, it’s an ‘all of the above,’” Hamer said.