By Caroline Fuller
House Approves Amendment of Fuel Economy Standards
The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce held a hearing in May to discuss whether President George W. Bush's administration should be given the authority to raise fuel economy standards for passenger cars. The legislation was narrowly approved with 28 representatives voting in favor and 26 against. This vote came after the transportation department sought to rewrite the 30-year-old Corporate Average Fuel Economy (C.A.F.E.) standards in April.
Reps. Joe Barton, R-Texas; Cliff Stearns, R-Fla.; and Ed Markey, D-Mass.; all offered amendments. Markey's amendment was not approved as it sought to make all new vehicles, including pickups and sport utility vehicles, average 33 miles per gallon within 10 years. Markey said his amendment "would be a powerful signal to send to the Middle East and the oil futures marketplace." This markup is in response to the rising prices of gas in the United States and its continuing dependency on foreign oil supplies.
Chicago Climate Exchange May Offer Credit for Ethanol
The Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX), a voluntary emissions trading market, may develop a program to award credit for ethanol use or production to offset greenhouse gas emissions. This move will likely prompt questions from industries regarding how to calculate the climate impacts of ethanol use. The goal of this program will be to expand ethanol use and look at how it can replace fossil fuel use. If enacted, the program will not only look to reduce emissions but offer credits to companies to be used to offset their own emissions or sell to other companies seeking to reduce their own emissions.
EPA Disperses $70 Million to Aid in Brownfield Cleanups
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced that communities in 44 states, two territories and three tribal nations will share $69.9 million in brownfield grants. These grants will promote the redevelopment of abandoned and possibly contaminated waste sites.
The $69.9 million in grants include:
Since its enactment in 2002, the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act has awarded 883 assessment grants totaling $225.4 million, 202 revolving loan fund grants totaling $186.7 million, and 238 cleanup grants totaling $42.7 million.
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