Oil-Backed Group Warns Northeast Against Low Carbon Fuel Standard

Yesterday, we reported on the oil and Koch-funded backlash against the attempts to move toward Low Carbon Fuels by Northeastern states.

They are trying to prevent states from implementing standards that would bar the use of tar sands oil or move away from oil altogether through electric cars.

Today, one of those groups, the Consumer Energy Alliance, ratcheted up the campaign. They sent a letter to 11 Attorney Generals in states that are developing a regional Clean Fuel Standard, with a stearn warning:

The initiative could be unconstitutional and is "unlikely to survive judicial scrutiny" if challenged in court, reports InsideClimate News

The alliance has strong ties to HBW Resources, a lobbying and public affairs firm whose clients include the American Petroleum Institute, the largest oil industry trade group, and the Center for North American Energy Security, a group created to promote oil sands development, says InsideClimate News

Consumer Energy Alliance has been meeting with Northeast governors, legislators and environmental regulators to convince them to reconsider for many months.

They sued and were able to stop California’s pioneering Low Carbon Fuel Standard from going into effect this January 1. That’s now in Appeals Court. 

They’re likely to do the same if the Northeast Clean Fuel Standard goes through. That, along with rising gas prices, and the shift toward Republican majorities is causing the states to reconsider implementing the standard.

What a shame that our elected representatives give in so easily to the forces that keep us tied to fossil fuels. The Low Carbon Standard would help us quickly shift to efficient vehicles and electric cars, the best solution to rising gas prices … and of course, to climate change.

High Gas Prices Spur Efficient Vehicle Sales

I know it’s unpopular, but the only way to shift to a non-fossil fuel economy is through high gas prices. As soon as they plummet, people go back to buying gas guzzlers, and that’s what the oil industry and tar sands pushers want.

"Just when it looked like electric cars were running out of juice, the return of $4 a gallon gasoline is generating new life for battery-powered vehicles," says Bloomberg.

Hybrids, plug-ins and electrics were the fastest-growing segment in the U.S. auto market in the first quarter, says Bloomberg. Sales rose 49% to 117,182 vehicles, from 78,527 in Q1 2010.

Toyota’s Prius (28,711 cars) and Chevy Volt (2,289 cars) plug-in both saw record sales in March.

GM, which until recently relied on trucks for sales, now says its 12 models that get 30 mpg or higher accounted for 40% of sales in March. 

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