Many enviro groups have been touting the Senate Energy Bill that passed last week as a victory. I’m not impressed. In fact, I’m somewhat appalled.
Yes, the Senate passed a bill to increase fuel efficiency standards (from 25 to 35 mpg) for the first time since 1975 and yes, they managed to beat back some really bad amendments (including the amendment to promote dirty coal-to-liquid technology, which USCEC was heavily involved in advocating against). But defeating bad amendments does not mean we’re advancing, it simply means we’ve managed to avoid going backwards for the time being. And that it’s taken us over 30 years to increase our CAFE standards to a relatively low 35 mpg is nothing to be proud of.
Thomas Friedman summed it up in a NY Times Op-ed on June 24:
The whole Senate energy effort only reinforced my feelings that we’re in a green bubble