By David Holt, President of Consumer Energy Alliance
Higher energy costs lead to higher utility and gasoline prices for consumers. Enacting a national Low-Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) will divert affordable, previously U.S-bound energy supplies from Canada to our competitors, reduce access to critical energy products such as diesel and home heating fuel, and increase prices at the pump – all without doing a thing to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, greenhouse gas emissions will increase as we turn our back on North American sourced oil and begin importing increasing amounts of energy from other continents via long ocean voyages. We won’t use less energy because there is a LCFS; we’ll just obtain it elsewhere.
These conclusions are well documented. Please download the PowerPoint on LCFS presented by one of the top energy policy analysts at the U.S. Department of Energy at a transportation conference last summer – and be sure to take a look at slides 16 and 17. You might also scan an LCFS study published in the American Economic Journal by professors from North Carolina and California. According to their research, an “LCFS cannot be efficient…,” and, “…contrary to the stated purpose, an LCFS can actually raise carbon emissions.”
Since it was founded in early 2006, Consumer Energy Alliance has worked to promote policies that ensure an adequate supply of energy. CEA is not opposed to using cleaner, more environmentally-friendly sources of energy and has embraced a “we need it all approach.” In light of this mission, we were surprised at the recent statement from Natural Recources Defense Council (NRDC) lawyer, Liz Barratt-Brown, who asserted in an environmental advocacy blog that CEA’s opposition to the LCFS must mean that our organization is “against shifting to cleaner fuels”. She alleged that CEA uses “deception” to represent ourselves.
While conducting its research project on CEA, it appears NRDC missed a recent post on our blog hailing the administration’s commitment to energy conservation programs, especially its efforts to promote and sustain a robust plan for home weatherization and re-insulation. NRDC also missed CEA’s press release applauding the mayor of Houston for getting an important solar energy project across the finish line in that great city. And it must have missed CEA’s many public statements in support of wind power where more needs to be done, and done now, to cut through the red tape and bring more of these installations online in parts of the country where wind generated electricity is both needed and efficient.
It’s true that CEA counts producers of conventional energy sources among its coalition, after all we are the Consumer Energy Alliance; a complete listing of our affiliates has always been available online. In her NRDC blog, Ms Barratt-Brown finds it convenient to characterize our organization as an assemblage of “Big Oil” interests. Were her blog even handed, it would note that we represent an even larger number of energy consumers: a full 60 percent of our affiliates are energy consumers. While these consuming groups don’t see eye-to-eye with the producing groups on every issue all of them embrace and support CEA’s broad mission to advance a national energy policy that encourages us to conserve what we have, allows us to safely produce what we need, and invests in the kind of technology we believe will be critical in creating jobs, revenue and opportunity in the future.
It’s a big effort, to be sure, but it is one supported by a larger and more diverse group of interests than NRDC may realize. Among our more than 130 member companies, we’re proud to work with steel manufacturers, plumbing and heating contractors, community and neighborhood organizations, seafood producers, biodiesel producers, fertilizer groups, truckers, airlines, tourism officials, and many, many others. But the backbone of our organization isn’t found there. It’s made up of the more than 265,000 everyday Americans who have signed up over the years to support our cause, men and women who believe in a balanced, sensible energy strategy for this country, and understand the relationship between such a strategy and the creation of jobs, security and affordable energy.
Yes, we disagree with NRDC on some issues. However, there is reason to believe that we agree on a number of other matters. We know that NRDC is not anti-consumer just as we are not anti-environment.
I’m delighted to continue a dialogue in the future, and I’m also hopeful that we can dispense with the personal attacks and schoolyard insults, and get down to the serious business of crafting commonsense energy solutions for the American people.