GM and Ford could easily meet the most stringent emissions standards in the U.S. if their fuel efficiency plans presented to Congress were implemented. If their 2012 fuel efficiency goals were met, which is quite frankly easily done, and California’s emissions standards were enforced nationwide, those standards would already be met. Watch the auto corporations come out with a request for even more money next year to meet those standards.
California has approved a climate plan that will address global warming in a more aggressive fashion. In 2006, a law was passed in California mandating 1990 emissions levels be met again by 2020. Air regulators approved 31 rules for homes and businesses to achieve that goal. In typical fashion, Republicans are thinking only as far as the next 3 months as they cry about increased costs. It’s very simple: we can pay a little bit now or a whole lot more later. Most Americans have figured out that the former is the better plan.
One big hurdle facing a renewable energy-based future is the sorry state of our current energy transmission system. Put simply, it is not up to the task of delivering the necessary power from remote locations to where energy consumers are. The Pacific Northwest provides a good example of this. Wind projects going up are set to provide 4,700 additinal megawatts of energy to the Seattle/Portland corridor. The required upgrades and new transmission lines are expected to cost $1.5 billion – not chump change. That’s where Obama’s plan to invigorate the economy by funding green projects comes in. Lots of winners result: Americans are paid well for solid jobs, the economy recovers, greenhouse gas emissions will slow down and the climate is forced a little less. Multiply the WA/OR plan by dozens or hundreds across the country and the winners multiply too.