Photo credit: eutrophication&hypoxia; via Flickr/CC BY
It's time to get creative. Climate legislation, as we all know, is kaput. Hope is dim for any kind of greenhouse gas limiting policy to emerge over the next year -- or years, more likely. So climate activists and green groups are starting to think outside the box for how to cut carbon in large scale, meaningful ways. One promising option that has arisen is to push for more stringent fuel economy standards -- a coalition of environmental groups has just launched a campaign urging the Obama administration to up the economy standard to 60 mpg over the next 15 years. The groups involved in the push, the NRDC, the Sierra Club, and Environment America, are hoping to convince the Obama administration to raise the standard in coming months, and sees the goal as entirely realistic. They also want the EPA to "lower the limit on greenhouse-gas emissions to 145 grams per mile," according to Mother Jones.
Kate Sheppard has more on the story:
The administration is expected to release guidance on future increases in fuel economy at the end of the month, following this spring's significant raising of standards. In April, the Obama administration announced new rules that will require light vehicles to get 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016, up from the previous average of 27.5 miles per gallon. (The standard had been stuck at that level since 1990.) The rules combine guidelines for how much fuel the fleet should use with standards for emissions, and also require that vehicles emit less than 250 grams of carbon dioxide per mile. Improving the efficiency of automobiles is a significant step in fighting global warming: personal automobiles are responsible for about 60 percent of emissions in the transportation sector, and that sector alone accounts for nearly a third of all US emissions.This effort is a good example of the sort of creative thinking that will be absolutely necessary as the fight to curb climate change moves to a much more dynamic, scattered battlefield -- no longer will all the majority of efforts be focused on obtaining national climate policy. Instead, expect the battle to move to state and city governments, and too more seemingly indirect policies that will nonetheless reduce emissions.
More on the Fuel Economy Standard
Obama's New Tougher Fuel Efficiency Standards Made Official: 35.5 MPG
New Bill Would Ban Offshore Drilling and Increase Fuel Economy
GM, Ford Can Meet US's Strongest Emissions Standards by 2012