Bush orders auto emissions regulations

14 May 2007 19:47  [Source: ICIS news]

WASHINGTON (ICIS news)--President George Bush ordered federal action on Monday to reduce US automotive greenhouse gas emissions beginning at the end of next year but said federal regulations to limit those emissions must be consistent with economic growth.


Bush also called on Congress to enact legislation to implement his announced goal of reducing US gasoline consumption by 20% within ten years - his “20 in 10” proposal - chiefly by increasing US domestic production of alternative fuels to 35bn gal/year by 2017.


Current US production of ethanol is nearing 6bn gal/year.  Reaching Bush’s target of 35bn gal/year by 2017 will require technical advances in cellulosic ethanol production - using agricultural waste such as corn stover and wheat chaff or inedible plants such as switch grass - that are as yet uncertain. 


Current US ethanol output is wholly corn-based and is not likely to exceed 15bn gal/year by most estimates.


Bush directed the departments of energy, environmental protection and agriculture to work toward a set of regulations that would force reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from automobile engines and off-road engines used in construction and agriculture.


The White House move was seen in part as a reaction to last month’s ruling by the US Supreme Court that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has both the authority and an obligation to regulate emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2).


The Bush administration had argued that EPA did not have that authority, but the high court ruling last month left the White House no option but to pursue greenhouse gas regulation.


However, Bush said regulations he wants completed by the end of next year must limit greenhouse gas emissions “in a manner consistent with sound science, analysis of benefits and costs, public safety and economic growth”.

By: Joe Kamalick
+1 713 525 2653

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