Consumer Energy Alliance responds to ethanol coalition’s support for a Low-Carbon Fuel Standard

WASHINGTON – August 14, 2009   Earlier this week at an energy forum in Nevada, a national coalition representing ethanol producers unveiled a “road map for a greener America” founded on the adoption of a policy known as the Low-Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS).

In response to that effort, and with an eye on separating fact from fiction on the economic and strategic consequences that such a proposal would create, Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) vice president Michael Whatley released the following statement:

“A LCFS would have serious consequences on America’s economic and strategic position in the world. An LCFS isn’t about making our environment any better, but it would make fuels from existing and future sources — sources we need — so expensive and scarce that Americans will be forced to look elsewhere for the energy they need to drive their cars, heat their homes and live their lives.”

Added Whatley: “Worse than that, an LCFS would prevent America’s fuel producers from accepting oil supplies from our closest, most important allies in the hemisphere – especially Canadian oil, of which we import more than 2.5 million barrels a day. In fact, under an LCFS, even some of America’s own homegrown reserves of crude oil would be targeted for elimination – creating a dangerous vacuum that some of the most unstable regimes in the world will be happy to fill.

“That’s not an effort that American energy consumers can support – especially when all the facts are laid out on the table. And while CEA members continue to fight for an ‘all of the above’ approach to leveraging America’s homegrown energy potential, which includes finding ways to expand our use of advanced sources of biofuels, a nationwide LCFS falls squarely outside that mandate.”

NOTE: At its core, an LCFS is a mandate on our nation’s refiners to reduce the “lifecycle” carbon emissions of the fuels they produce. But since the actual carbon content of most fuels is constant, the only options available for refiners under an LCFS is to either stop accepting shipments of “heavy” crude from Canada, Mexico, and much of the American Intermountain West, or buy up government-issued credits for the right to remain in business.

Either way, American jobs will be put in danger, the price we pay for gasoline will go up, and the amount of oil we import from unstable regimes abroad will increase substantially.