Clean Energy Act of 2007
The Senate passed its version of the Clean Energy Act of 2007 last night. I’ve addressed a few of the issues of it before. However, as with most all legislation, it got kind of changed along the way. So, here’s a recap courtesy of CNN:
An increase in automobile fuel economy requirements to a fleet-wide average of 35 mpg by 2020 from the current requirements of 27.5 mpg for cars and 22.2 mpg for SUVs and small trucks.
What you can expect is lip service here. “Fleet average” doesn’t include trucks, vans, or SUV’s. As such, manufacturers will have to roll out a hand full of hybrids to offset their traditional hotter selling lower-mileage cars. Big deal, they’re doing that already. I see very little, if any, impact this will realistically have.
Requires that half of the new cars manufactured by 2015 be capable of running on 85 percent ethanol or biodiesel fuels.
Ever prime your engine withe ethanol? Cars will already run on 85 percent ethanol or biodiesel. What happens is the manufacturers basically void all warrantees if you try. And, for the older cars that don’t real hot, ethanol can destroy your seals real quick. However, this legislation doesn’t address older cars at all. What it does is tell manufacturers that what they are doing now, they HAVE to do by 2015. Makes a lot of sense huh?
A requirement to produce 36 billion gallons a year of ethanol, as a substitute for gasoline, by 2022, a sevenfold increase over production in 2006. Ethanol would be made from corn and cellulosic sources such as prairie grass and wood chips.
That’s all fine and good, but where is this 26 billion gallons of ethanol going to come from? Are they going to subsidize corn farmer? Are they going to give incentives to other farmers to grow corn? The demand has been there for years, the profits not. I expect the price of corn to skyrocket without even making it to the pump.
Price gouging provisions that make it unlawful to charge an “unconscionably excessive” price for oil products including gasoline and give the federal government new authority to investigate oil industry market manipulation.
Price gouging is already illegal. This is nothing but rhetoric and pandering. The question this presents to me is by presenting an artificial demand for corn, will those price gouging standards apply to vendors as they try to compete to buy the required ethanol? I see a situation where companies will HAVE to have ethanol and it won’t be there. This will be very typical supply and demand, with demand far outweighing supply. When that happens, the product gets real expensive real fast. This legislation only applies to oil producers. So, the logic here is people can gouge corn, but not oil. See a business angle there yet? Can you say “futures”? I can.
New appliance and lighting efficiency standards and a requirement that the federal government accelerate use of more efficient lighting in public buildings.
Good idea. That’ll clean up all those old cars on the road real quick now won’t it.
Grants, loan guarantees and other assistance to promote research into fuel efficient vehicles, including hybrids, advanced diesel and battery technologies.
Great idea. This should have been done years ago. What’s that you say? It has been? It couldn’t have been, this is the Democrats response to Bush’s failed energy policies. That being the case, I guess it won’t resemble anything like the Department of Agriculture’s
Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Program. It’s only been doing exactly what this legislation demands since 2002. The Democrat’s answer to what they consider failed policies is doing exactly what they claim failed. Brilliant huh? Wanna bet MSNBC and CNN catch on to that one as well?
Support for large-scale demonstrations that capture carbon dioxide from coal-burning power plants and inject it into the ground.
I’ve already had fun with this one. Richard Branson offered something like $25 million for a contraption that just sucks the bad stuff out of the air and pumps in the ground like nuclear waste. So, another guy immediately says he has something that will do just that. The Democrats say “Hey, if he can do that, all our problems are solved!”. So, they stick legislation in an energy bill to support an even bigger version of this carbon-sucking machine. Anyone ever read The Emporer’s New Clothes?
This bill just sticks a bunch of promises and hopes that are already being researched and done now. What it doesn’t do, in the least bit, is address the immediate problem that will be a complete mess by 2012.
President Bush said he didn’t really like this legislation. He made that announcement in Alabama. At a nuclear plant. You know what those are. They provide about 20% of the nation’s energy and have had very few significant problems, for the last 25 years or more. Best I can tell, this tried and true, non-greenhouse emitting source of energy, was totally ignored in lieu of a bunch of promises and pandering that may, or may not, ever be used to deal with our future energy needs. At least they didn’t get the brilliant idea of adding taxes to help us deal with these high prices to fly.
Sounds like I don’t care much for this legislation, don’t it? I want something tangible, and I want it now. Fund the construction of about 100 more reactors NOW. Build more refineries NOW. When there is surplus electricity as oil becomes scarce, the private sector will move itself to the cheapest energy regardless of all this phony political pandering we’re seeing here that realistically does nothing while oil continues to erode the economy.
But, history will correct me if I’m wrong here. Bookmark this post and come back in one year and see what has changed and then we’ll discuss how wrong, or right, I am. At this time, I’m very confident I’ve got this PR stunt nailed.