WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Chairman of the newly formed House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, criticized the Bush administration for its lack of commitment on energy and global warming, highlighted by today’s fuels event featuring the heads of the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Energy, and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

In the event today at the EPA, the agency administrators will present a plan that has no enforceable fuel economy targets, and could lead to more global warming pollution, not less. The plan reportedly will be billed as the administration’s response to last week’s groundbreaking Supreme Court decision on vehicle global warming emissions, but appears to consist of rehashed schemes that will not tackle global warming or adequately address our oil dependence problem.

“When it comes to making the link between our energy challenges and the need to fight global warming, the administration still just doesn’t get it,” said Rep. Markey. “Their so-called plan to cut our oil dependence and global warming pollution is like plugging holes in a levee while water rushes over the top. These challenges are too great for voluntary, visionless plans that leave loopholes for fuels like liquid coal that will increase global warming emissions. Any new fuel used to power America’s vehicles must reduce our dependence on oil and cut global warming emissions.”

Below are a few of the administration’s claims, and the reality behind their plans:

Administration claim: Their fuel economy proposal will increase fuel economy standards by 4 percent per year.

Reality: The stated “goal” has no teeth, and no mandatory requirements, and therefore no guaranteed results. However, the fuel economy performance increases under a bill sponsored by Rep. Markey and Rep. Todd Russell Platts (R-PA) and supported by 99 Members of Congress, actually requires a 4 percent increase to ensure success.  H.R. 1506 will back out every drop of oil we currently import from the Persian Gulf by 2022.

Administration claim: The “alternative” fuels standard will help bring about a new generation of clean fuels.

Reality: By exchanging “alternative” for “renewable”, the President’s plan leaves the door wide open for dirty fuels like liquid coal which can double global warming pollution compared to regular gasoline and may sacrifice the advancement of cleaner, home-grown fuels like cellulosic ethanol.

Administration claim: Their plans will adequately tackle global warming pollution.

Reality: The administration has still not supported any mandatory plan that would cut global warming emissions, not only from America’s cars and trucks, which accounts for 20 percent of heat-trapping emissions, but also for the other 80 percent from our power plants and other sources. Through these plans proposed today, loopholes for liquid coal and no requirements to increase our fuel economy performance could lead to increases in global warming emissions.

April 10, 2007

CONTACT: Will Huntington
David Moulton