Leaked NESCAUM Economic Analysis: Filled with “Assumptions big enough to drive an electric truck through.”
Michael Whatley of Consumer Energy Alliance comes out against NESCAUM Analysis on low-carbon fuel rules.

WASHINGTON, DC – Reacting to a story in this afternoon’s Greenwire about the leak of NESCAUM’s (Northeast States Coordinated Air Use Management) economic analysis, Michael Whatley, Executive Vice President of the Consumer Energy Alliance said stakeholders should take a step back when reading the economic analysis because it was based on flawed assumptions, that are “big enough to drive an electric truck through” such as the lower cost of biodiesel or electric and natural gas vehicles.

A preliminary reading of NESCAUM’s analysis shows some breathtaking assumptions. For example:

  • NESCAUM assumes that soy diesel will be widely available and cheaper than diesel;
  • NESCAUM assumes that all advanced low carbon fuels will be available in the quantities necessary and at prices lower than gasoline and diesel; and
  • NESCAUM assumes that natural gas and electric vehicles will cost the same as traditional gasoline/diesel vehicles.

“NESCAUM’s analysis assumes in all cases that alternative fuel technologies and advanced renewable fuels will be commercially viable and cheaper than tradition vehicles and fuels for a program that begins in two years. I don’t know how they can make that claim,” said Whatley. “The real world facts are that biodiesel is significantly more expensive than diesel due to high soy crop prices and biodiesel shortages, that we do not have a single commercially viable cellulosic ethanol plant operating today anywhere in the country, and that both natural gas and electric vehicles are substantially more expensive than their traditionally-fueled counterparts.”

Whatley concluded that “It seems a real stretch to make assumptions like those and then put out an analysis that concludes that an LCFS program will have a small cost and net benefit for the economy.  Although we need to meet with NESCAUM and go over the methodologies used in this analysis in order to completely understand their conclusions, it appears that the flaws in this analysis are big enough to drive an electric truck through.”

You can read NESCAUM’s economic analysis here.