Fuel standard is bad for N.H.

To the editor:House Bill 1487 should be enacted in order to avoid costly increases in fuel and heating oil prices for New Hampshire citizens.State Representatives Holden, Bettencourt and O’Brien have co-sponsored the bill, which would require legislative approval prior to using state funds to join a low-carbon fuel standard (LCFS) program.Low-carbon fuel standards are extremely harmful to the economy with very little payoff for the environment. The LCFS program that is currently being developed by the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management would rope New Hampshire into costly standards with other, larger states and would raise gasoline, diesel and home heating oil prices by as much as 170 percent.The policy would also mandate the use of biofuels that are not commercially available and would require a new transportation fuel infrastructure that will cost a fortune. Even worse, a low-carbon fuels standard won’t even reduce greenhouse gas emissions. According to a study conducted by Barr Associates, the LCFS would force suppliers and distributors to increase the transportation distance of crudes used in the Northeast. Canadian crudes would be transported to Asia instead of the U.S. and be replaced by greater volumes from the Middle East. This “crude-shuffling” would actually result in a net increase in greenhouse gas emissions if the program were put in place.Supporters of a Northeastern low carbon fuel standard point to the California LCFS as a model. However, a U.S. District Court judge ruled that the California LCFS is unconstitutional in January. This is not the kind of model that New Hampshire should adopt.Gasoline and home heating oil prices hit an all-time high in 2011 and are projected to go even higher in 2012. An LCFS will drive them even higher — without reducing carbon emissions.Representatives Holden, Bettencourt, and O’Brien are to be commended for putting this very important bill forward and for working to keep gasoline, diesel and home heating oil affordable for the people of New Hampshire. Michael WhatleyExecutive Vice PresidentConsumer Energy AllianceHouston, Texas

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