New Energy News has some insight I haven't seen expressed elsewhere (plus graphics scattered throughout the blog):
If required EPA vehicle emissions controls currently being drawn up by the White House turn out to be anything approaching world standards, it might take vehicle mileage off the table in energy bill negotiations.
The conference process could then focus on New Energy. It could happen: The White House wants less gas consumption -- what better way to get there than with gas-efficient cars? Unless you believe what Detroit says about it being economically impossible to produce such cars. But if it was impossible, how could the rest of the world be doing it?
A major shift in negotiating positions may come from recent judicial findings allowing states to set their own vehicle emissions control standards and from a Supreme Court ruling in April requiring the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate vehicle emissions.
- President Bush has 4 cabinet departments working on EPA standards, expected before the end of 2007.
- The Senate’s energy bill was built around Senator Feinstein’s new, more demanding Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency (CAFÉ) standard, requiring 35 mpg by 2020.
The EPA standard may address that.
The European Union’s emissions control standard (expressed as 120 gms/km) amounts to 43 mpg by 2012. Should the EPA standard approach the EU standard, there would be no need to fight over CAFÉ standards, leaving the White House and Congress free to haggle over renewables....MORE