President Bush, in his State of the Union speech, outlined a "Twenty in Ten" plan in which the the US would cut gasoline consumption by twenty percent over the next ten years.
The Twenty in Ten plan has so far consisted of two Legislative Proposals
1. Increasing The Supply Of Renewable And Other Alternative Fuels By Setting A Mandatory Fuels Standard To Require The Equivalent Of 35 Billion Gallons Of Renewable And Other Alternative Fuels In 2017 – Nearly Five Times The 2012 Target Now In Law. In 2017, this will displace 15 percent of projected annual gasoline use.
2. Reforming And Modernizing Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standards For Cars And Extending The Current Light Truck Rule. In 2017, this will reduce projected annual gasoline use by up to 8.5 billion gallons, a further 5 percent reduction that, in combination with increasing the supply of renewable and other alternative fuels, will bring the total reduction in projected annual gasoline use to 20 percent.
Back in April, the Supreme Court ruled the EPA must take action under the Clean Air Act regarding greenhouse Gas emissions from motor vehicles. And so President Bush took the first step today towards such regulation by issuing an Executive Order for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) And The U.S. Departments Of Energy (DOE), Transportation (DOT), And Agriculture (USDA).
Bush directed the above agencies to require coordination between the agencies when developing any regulations regarding greenhouse emissions from "motor vehicles, nonroad vehicles, and nonroad engines proceed in a manner consistent with sound science, analysis of benefits and costs, public safety, and economic growth." Such regulation should be developed by the end of 2008.
References: The Presidents Executive Order and Twenty in Ten Fact Sheet
Steve Johnson, Administrator of the EPA had the following to say in response to the Executive Order (source: Green Car Congress and the following transcript)
We will solicit comments on a proposed rule from a broad array of stakeholders and other interested members of the public. Our ultimate decision must reflect a thorough consideration of public comments and an evaluation of how it fits within the scope of the Clean Air Act. Only after EPA has issued a proposal and considered public comments can it finalize a regulation.Dave McCurdy, President & CEO of the Alliance, released the following press release in response to President Bush
"Automakers support reforming and raising car fuel economy standards, consistent with the need to preserve jobs and consumer choice. Determining the right level for the future will require sound science and engineering, in an open process that involves everyone. Automakers support DOT and NHTSA continuing to set fuel economy standards, and we believe that NHTSA should begin a rulemaking now to implement the President’s plan.
"The Alliance pledges to work constructively with Congress and the administration to help reduce oil consumption and carbon dioxide, while at the same time preserving the diverse range of automobiles that consumers require today."
"Automakers have put more than 10 million alternative fuel autos, including hybrids, diesel and ethanol-capable vehicles, U.S. roads, and we need more alternative fuels to power them."
Background on CAFE and CO2
· Automakers join policymakers in wanting to accelerate the introduction of fuel-efficient technologies on our roads, and Alliance members support raising fuel economy standards to the maximum feasible level that balances technological feasibility, affordability, jobs and safety.
· Extreme, unrealistic CAFE increases could force manufacturers into offering vehicles for sale that do not match up with consumer demand for versatility, performance, affordability, and passenger and cargo space. If higher standards make vehicles less attractive to consumers, vehicle sales will drop, negatively impacting auto dealers, suppliers, automakers, and the U.S. economy.
· Automakers have long been contributing solutions on energy security, vehicle efficiency, and climate change. The CAFE program has regulated the amount of carbon emissions from cars and trucks for the past 30 years – unlike any other part of the transportation sector.
· As Congress focuses on climate change, it should consider a broader set of policies beyond just CAFE to reduce CO2. The transport sector comprises a complex system of fuel providers, automobiles, and consumers, and each has a role to play if we are to meaningfully reduce oil consumption and CO2 emissions.
Background on Alternative Fuels
· Automakers commend President Bush for encouraging the development of alternative fuel automobiles and alternative fuels. Currently automakers are selling 60 models of alternative fuel automobiles including ethanol-capable E-85, hybrid electric, clean diesel and more. (A list of vehicles can be found at www.DiscoverAlternatives.com.)
· The Alliance supports improved energy conservation and energy security, and automakers advocate developing U.S. transportation energy policy that is comprehensive involving all sectors of the economy. Reducing petroleum consumption is a shared responsibility.
· Automakers are working with the energy industry to develop a range of alternative fuels capable of sustaining mobility while ensuring more secure energy sources. Alliance members have forged more than 25 partnerships, joint ventures or research and development projects with energy producers to expand the fueling infrastructure for fuels such as ethanol, biomass and hydrogen.
The Alliance represents 9 manufacturers including BMW, DaimlerChrsysler, Ford, GM, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Porsche, Toyota and Volkswagen.