Monday, June 18, 2007

Dingell and Boucher appear to drop attack on California greenhouse gas standards

June 18, 2007
TO: Members, Committee on Energy and Commerce
FROM: John D. Dingell, ChairmanRick Boucher, Chairman, Subcommittee onEnergy and Air Quality
SUBJECT: Consideration of Energy Legislation
We will circulate shortly a set of Committee prints addressing energyefficiency standards, a smart electricity grid, loan guarantees forinnovative energy technologies, renewable fuels infrastructure incentives,and advanced battery and plug-in hybrid vehicle promotion.

These will formthe basis for markup of energy legislation in the Subcommittee on Energyand Air Quality this week and in the full Committee next week.

Almost one month ago, we began circulating a series of staff discussiondrafts of energy legislation that generated, as we had hoped, considerabledebate. Based on two legislative hearings and other very useful responseswe received to those drafts, we have decided to proceed with provisionsthat represent consensus.

You will note that a number of the morecontroversial issues we raised, such as coal-to-liquids, fuel economystandards, a low carbon fuel standard, various mandates, and the role ofFederal and State programs, are not included in the set of prints that wewill distribute. These issues are important, and we are committed toaddressing them and others when we take up comprehensive climate changelegislation in the fall. This will also give us the needed time to achieveconsensus on these issues if at all possible.

This procedure for considering energy legislation at this time wasdiscussed with the Speaker, and she understands the rationale forproceeding this way so that we can rapidly complete work on a bipartisanbill that can be signed into law. As we see in Senate consideration ofenergy legislation, many of these issues are complex and difficult, and itis our desire to avoid unnecessary delays in passing legislation that canaccomplish much good.

For example, the energy efficiency provisions of theCommittee prints, when fully enacted, will remove from the atmospherecarbon dioxide emissions equivalent to those emitted from all carscurrently on the road, according to an analysis by the American Council foran Energy Efficient Economy and the Alliance to Save Energy.

This does not even count any savings from the smart grid or other provisions included inthe prints.We look forward to working with you to report legislation within the next two weeks.

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