It is bad enough that President Obama counteracts his signing of a major new deal on global warming with China by making approving noises about the Keystone XL Pipeline. Now he’s apparently about to bow from industry pressure applied through his own Environmental Protection Agency and significantly weaken our nation’s alternative fuels efforts.
According to reporting by Evan Halper of the LA Times, the President is giving some thought to a “rollback of the 7-year-old green energy mandate known as the renewable fuel standard.” Such a rollback would have a devastating effect on investment in and development of the alternative fuels that must remain central to our nation’s contributions to fighting global climate change.
The suggested rollback is being initiated by the EPA, under pressure from the petrochemical industry. Their reasoning is that the program has so far failed to produce alternative fuels in sufficient quantity and quality to be a viable alternative energy source. That is unarguably true for the most part. But the answer to the problem is not to abandon or de-emphasize the program. On the contrary, the failures should drive further investment and research designed to overcome the obstacles we are discovering and have discovered. Nobody said or thought this was going to be easy. But if the Federal Government doesn’t lead on this vital issue, who will? Surely not the petroleum industry with its vested interest in the status quo so deep that it cannot even see the human extinction looming just over the next horizon.
So, please, Mr. President. Don’t do this. Don’t sabotage this vital program. Redouble our efforts and expenditures on alternative fuels. Before it is too late.