Yesterday, Rep. Waxman sent a letter to Sen. Bingaman in an attempt to ban certain greenhouse gas emitting fuels. The letter was intended to clarify a section of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which was signed into law by the President in December. Waxman believes section 526 of the legislation should be interpreted as:t
No Federal agency shall enter into a contract for procurement of an alternative or synthetic fuel, including a fuel produced from nonconventional petroleum sources, for any mobility-related use, other than for research or testing, unless the contract specifies that the lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions associated with the production and combustion of the fuel supplied under the contract must, on an ongoing basis, be less than or equal to such emissions from the equivalent conventional fuel produced from conventional petroleum sources.
This would essentially ban coal-to-liquid fuels and fuels derived from tar sands by not allowing the government to enter into contracts for those fuel sources. The letter says this provision, "also would apply to such a contract where the purpose of the contract is to obtain such an alterative fuel or fuel from a nonconventional petroleum source, even if the source of the fuel is not explicitly identified in the contract."