WASHINGTON (April 10, 2007) -- Defying last week’s Supreme Court decision on global warming, the Environmental Protection Agency today declined to use the powers it already has to cut global warming pollution. Instead, three federal agencies attempted to pass the buck to Congress by proposing weak standards for fuel economy and “alternative” fuels that could even make global warming pollution worse, according to experts at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).
The EPA today issued a rule to track renewable fuel usage, but that rule will not add any renewable ethanol or biodiesel above and beyond the industry's current forecasts. The three agencies repeated President Bush’s proposal that Congress give him a blank check to revise the nation’s fuel economy standards without requiring any specific increase, and that Congress increase production of “alternative” (not “renewable”) fuels – including fuels made from coal that that produce even more heat-trapping carbon dioxide than gasoline.
The following is a statement by David Doniger, policy director for the Climate Center at NRDC:
What is missing today? Any sign that the Bush administration will follow last week's Supreme Court decision, which ordered EPA to decide -- based on the science and only the science -- whether the pollution from cars and trucks is contributing to global warming.
It is hard to see how an administration that claims to accept the international scientific consensus could reach any other conclusion.
The administration is pushing minor new legislative proposals that at most would slow how fast global warming pollution is allowed to grow. But it opposes any new laws to actually cap and cut that pollution. And it is ignoring the authority it already has to take a big bite out of global warming pollution under the Clean Air Act.
The new fuel rules announced today will not add a single gallon of renewable ethanol or biodiesel beyond the industry's current forecasts.
To make matters worse, if the administration gets its way, global warming pollution may actually go up, not down. The reason is that the administration’s legislative proposal defines liquid coal as an alternative fuel, and liquid coal leads to more CO2 pollution than gasoline.