Majority of voters favor gasoline-car phaseout. But all-electric goal faces tough opposition.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — In the summer of 2015, the U.S. Department of Energy announced that it would be working on a plan to decarbonize the country’s energy infrastructure by 2030. In this plan, the U.S. would transition away from burning fossil fuels by making all of its electricity and transportation choices entirely electricity-based.
In June 2017, the Department released the Energy Department’s Clean Power Plan. This plan called on the U.S. to cut greenhouse gas emissions from its energy sector by 32 percent below 2005 levels by 2030 and establish a mandatory system for energy efficiency that would cut carbon emissions by 30 percent by the same date.
But with the U.S. facing a historic shift from fossil fuels to all-electric vehicles, the American public seems to have come to a realization that the path to a low-carbon energy system can start with the country taking the all-electric vehicles off the road.
According to a recent poll conducted by Morning Consult and Axios, 69 percent of American voters support the government making all-electric automobiles the primary mode of transportation. Meanwhile, just 35 percent voted to make all-electrics the only mode of transportation.
But the U.S. Department of Energy still has not endorsed this goal.
On Wednesday, the Department released its next plan — this time the Clean Fuel Standard — a plan to increase the minimum amount of ethanol fuel sold in the U.S. to 40 billion gallons per year from the previous 5 billion gallons. The goal is to make renewable fuels more affordable for Americans — and, according to Energy Secretary Rick Perry, for American automakers — to bring production back to U.S. soil.
“This plan will help our friends across the aisle and across the world protect their families and their workers, who are vital to our national security and economic prosperity,” Perry told Morning Consult.
But not everyone agrees. Several national and state representatives have come forward to express their opposition to the plan.
“This is a direct attack on the interests of independent electric vehicle manufacturers,” says Congressman Jason Altmire, a Florida Republican with strong support from rural areas of the state.
“The Renewable Fuel Standard was meant to encourage the use of lower carbon fuels, not eliminate them completely,”