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On Oil Industry Attacks Analysis of Cleaner Future

Geoff,

You and I seem to agree that there’s a huge opportunity before us. Technical feasibility isn’t the issue; companies in the US are making and using alternative fuels in small quantities today. I think we also agree that we need a stable, long-term market signal to drive the growth in the alternatives. The Clean Fuels Standard, as a technology-neutral performance standard, can provide that signal and create a market for investment in clean alternatives.

We can’t rely on the current market conditions to get us where we need to go in terms of reducing our oil dependence and cutting pollution. We need policy.

Performance standards are successful at driving clean technology into the marketplace. Fuel economy and carbon pollution standards for new vehicles are a great example. These standards are resulting in more fuel-efficient vehicles across all classes the showroom and the incremental cost of low-emission, fuel-saving technologies is more than paid for in fuel savings.

If designed right, performance standards can work in the fuels market too. Taking no action, however, leaves us addicted to a dirty fuel source, at the mercy of the oil industry (and oil producing countries that don’t share US values), and faced with a future less in our control.   

October 20, 2011    View Comment