E85 Boondoggle Of The Day: Mandatory Flexibility
Green Car Congress reports that an “Open Fuel Standards Act” has been introduced which would require half of all light duty vehicles sold in the US to be flex-fuel capable. The legislation would ramp up requirements to mandate 80 percent flex-fuel capability by 2015. Since ethanol has been running into trouble of late, the industry’s plan now centers on forcing OEMs to bring flex-fuel capability across their lineups, which supporters say will drive greater availability of E85 pumps. The plan would also enable the proliferation of mid-range ethanol blends like E20 and E30, since E85-capable flex-fuel vehicles would also be able to run on the intermediate blends that the ethanol industry so desperately wants to become mainstream. The only waivers for this mandate would be for OEMs who can prove that ethanol fuels prevent plug-in hybrids and other alt-energy vehicles to flunk state emission standards. Meanwhile, as rules are being written for the Renewable Fuel Standard, and a group of Senators are moving to prevent the use of indirect land use change (ILUC) to calculate the total GHG output of biofuels.
The law mandates measurement of “direct emissions and significant indirect emissions such as significant emissions from land use changes, as determined by the Administrator.” And though there are many complexities in attempting to calculate the full impact of biofuels, Senators don’t see this as a challenge to be undertaken, but a baby to be thrown out with the bathwater. The senators “urge EPA to refrain from including any calculations of the ILUC components in determining life-cycle GHG emissions for biofuels at this time. The premature publication and use of inaccurate or incomplete data could compromise the ability to formulate a sound approach to implementing this life cycle GHG emissions requirement in the future. And the resultant rulemaking confusion could seriously harm our US biofuels growth strategy by introducing uncertainty and discouraging future investments.” Oh yeah, and we would have to find new campaign contributors too.
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- JamesGarfield Re: Getting away from union plantsAbout a dozen years or so ago, Caterpillar built a huge new engine plant, just down the road here in Seguin TX. Story has it, Caterpillar came to Seguin City council in advance, and told them their plans. Then they asked for no advanced publicity from Seguin, until announcement day. This new plant was gonna be a non-union replacement for a couple of union plants in IL and SC, and Cat didn't want to stir up union problems until the plan was set. They told Seguin, If you about blab this in advance, we'll walk. Well, Seguin kept quiet as instructed, and the plan went through, with all the usual expected tax abatements given.Plant construction began, but the Caterpillar name was conspicuously absent from anywhere on the site. Instead, the plant was described as being a collective of various contractors and suppliers for Caterpillar. Which in fact, it was. Then comes the day, with the big new plant fully operationa!, that Caterpillar comes in and announces, Hey, Yeah it's our plant, and the Caterpillar name boldly goes up on the front. All you contractor folks, welcome aboard, you're now Caterpillar employees. Then, Cat turns and announces they are closing those two union plants immediately, and will be transporting all the heavy manufacturing equipment to Seguin. None of the union workers, just the equipment. And today, the Caterpillar plant sits out there, humming away happily, making engines for the industry and good paying jobs for us. I'd call that a winner.
- Stuki Moi What Subaru taketh away in costs, dealers will no doubt add right back in adjustments.... Fat chance Subaru will offer a sufficient supply of them.
- Dartdude Lorenzo, the reason for low manual transmission here is that most dealers won't stock them. I wanted a 2012 Kia Koup with manual tranny it was available, but no dealers ordered any from the factory hence there was none available. Go on any car manufacture's web site and price and build and build your model and you would be lucky if the model existed and was available.
- The Oracle Good news is that based on the model years many of these have already been junked or experienced terminal engine failure.
- Lou_BC I'm confused, isn't a Prologue a preview? This would be a preview of a preview.