First, the good news:
A dozen states, including Vermont and Massachusetts, would be blocked from imposing new requirements on automakers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions under a draft energy bill being prepared for a vote later this month.
California has been battling the federal EPA for two years over a state law that would require automakers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, mainly carbon dioxide, by 25 percent from cars and 18 percent from SUVs by the 2009 model year.
Now, the bad news:
It calls for expansion of the production of ethanol and other alternative motor fuels — including liquefied coal — to 35 billion gallons a year by 2025.
It also requires automobiles to increase fleet-wide fuel economy to 35 miles per gallon, from the current 27.5 mpg, by 2021 and requires them to make 85 percent of their new cars capable of running on 85-percent ethanol blends by 2020.
Why are these good news, bad news? Command-and-control regulation, such as mandates like these, are more costly than economic incentive regulation, such as a carbon tax or carbon cap-and-trade.
Hat tip: Grist.