Sunday, January 25, 2009

DOD Energy Stimulus Carrots ... and EPA Sticks

We're still in the first week of the Obama administration, and there's already a lot in motion re: DOD energy, as the Congress prepares to giveth and the new EPA readies to taketh away. That is, Congress looks like it's soon going to pass a stimulus plan that includes a small boost for DOD energy research
Amid the $825 billion that the U.S. Congress proposes to spend to resuscitate the U.S. economy, there’s a $350 million sliver in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for the U.S. military to conduct research into renewable energy .... The proposed legislation does not list specific projects on which the money is to be spent. Rather, “it looks like it is seed money for better ideas,” defense budget analyst Christopher Hellman said.
At the same time, the NY Times reports today that California and about a dozen other states who fought the Bush administration's EPA over for their right to increase fuel economy standards are about to see the tables turn their way and restrict the rights of car makers to sell cars that don't meet set efficiency standards in their markets:
the centerpiece of Monday’s anticipated announcement is Mr. Obama’s directive to the Environmental Protection Agency to begin work immediately on granting California a waiver, under the Clean Air Act, which allows the state, a longtime leader in air quality matters, to set standards for automobile emissions stricter than the national rules.
Not sure if bases in those states will be affected by the new EPA policies, but the Army, with its recent lease of 4,000 electric cars and possibly many more, is ready if they are. Meanwhile, the folks in the Pentagon trying to read the tea leaves are probably having an interesting time keeping track of the all the new policy directions. And it's day 5.

No comments: