WASHINGTON — THE United States Environmental Protection Agency unveiled a plan Tuesday to curb pollution by reducing the use of electricity nationwide by at least 10 percent. EPA administrator William Reilly announced the program, called ``Green Lights,'' under which 23 major corporations volunteered to use energy-efficient lighting at their facilities over the next five years.
Mr. Reilly said that the program would reduce annual air pollution by 235 million tons, or 5 percent of the national total, by burning less fuel to produce electricity.
The 10 percent reduction in demand for electricity would be the equivalent of having 42 million fewer cars on the road, or one-third of the total number of American cars.
The US is eager to show some progress in limiting carbon dioxide emissions ahead of the Second World Climate Conference next month in Washington which will focus on the effects these gases have on global warming.
Other countries have agreed to stabilize or reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the future and have accused the United States of stalling on the issue. The Bush administration has called for further evidence of the problem before committing the United States to any specific target.
The EPA said companies joining the program so far include Amoco, Bechtel, Bell Atlantic, Browning Ferris, Gillette, Johnson and Johnson, Nike, Memorex Telex, Maytag, Polaroid, Union Camp, Warner-Lambert, and Whirlpool Corporation. The EPA said other companies would be urged to enlist in the program.