TN, DC Op-Eds Separate Fact From Fiction on LCFS

Separate columns in The Washington Times today and The Tennessean this weekend put forth a compelling case – from two very different perspectives —  why the imposition of one-size-fits-all low-carbon fuel standard (LCFS) would be an economic coup de grâce for American consumers, and just a plain old coup for overseas, unstable energy producers.

Appearing in today’s Washington Times, David Holt, Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) president, explains why an LCFS would hurt American consumers, cost jobs, and further jeopardize our long-term energy security. Here are excerpts of his piece:

It turns out that, short of engaging in outright alchemy, tweaking the molecular profile of refined fuel products isn’t done easily, safely or well. But if an LCFS can’t actually effect a chemical change in the carbon makeup of our fuels, how can its supporters claim it will reduce the amount of carbon dioxide they emit?

The answer is that LCFS isn’t about making the fuels on which we rely today better, cleaner or more energy-efficient. It’s about making those fuels scarcer, more expensive and less available to those who need them. Achieve that, the logic goes, and the alternative energy technologies that can’t compete right now — for one, because they don’t exist in commercial quantities, if at all — will have a fighting chance in the future of gaining market share from the reliable, all-too-affordable energy sources that dominate our markets today.

Holt closed with this:

An LCFS means higher prices at the pump, fewer good-paying jobs for Americans, complicated Wall Street trading schemes and expanded dependence on energy from unstable regions of the world.

State legislators understand full-well the economic and energy security consequences that an LCFS presents, too. Tennessee state representative Susan Lynn demonstrated independence, leadership and her commitment to affordable energy in a column that ran this weekend entitled “State comes out on short end under fuel standards.” Rising above intra-party politics, Rep. Lynn even questioned her state’s senior U.S. senator, Lamar Alexander, support for an LCFS:

Yet little has been made of something called LCFS or Low-Carbon Fuel Standards, which would fundamentally alter the way in which Americans acquire, process and consume energy.

The New York Times reported that LCFS could be “extremely costly.”

A group of professors from California and North Carolina said the plan “cannot be efficient.”

And a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations said it “would exacerbate energy security problems without delivering compensating climate benefits.”

Unfortunately for Tennessee, our senior senator seems to be supportive of talk for a future Public Act requiring LCFS in the United States Code.

Representative Lynn added this:

So, what would a successful LCFS deliver? Increased American dependence on overseas oil. Check. More good-paying American jobs sent overseas. Check. Higher energy costs for every consumer. Check. And, since the “heavy” oil we reject will be gobbled up by our chief global competitors in India and China, higher worldwide carbon emissions to boot.

If you agree with Mr. Holt and Rep. Lynn that an LCFS will make American consumers pay more at the pump for energy from some of the most unstable regions of the world, contact your representatives, and tell them to oppose an LCFS.

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