Hearing eyes fuel, vehicle rules under White House review

Source: Camille von Kaenel, E&E News reporter • Posted: Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Lawmakers this week will dig into at least two environment-related transportation rules the White House is considering changing.

The Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment is scheduled to hold a hearing on the future of transportation fuels and vehicles.

Last week, the White House weighed changes to the renewable fuel standard in a meeting with key lawmakers and industry representatives (E&E Daily, March 2). The president floated a new compromise on ethanol mandates that would place new controls on the price of renewable fuel credits while allowing year-round sales of higher-ethanol fuel.

The White House is also negotiating with the auto industry and California on fuel efficiency standards. U.S. EPA must decide by April whether to lower the Obama-era targets for model years 2021 to 2025, which would bring average real-world mileage to around 36 mpg.

The House panel will focus on alternative fuels, like high-octane fuels developed by the Energy Department to work with internal combustion engines; biofuels; and the electric grid powering electric vehicles, according to a description sent out by the committee.

The hearing will also focus on vehicle technology, like batteries for electric vehicles and more fuel-efficient engines developed to comply with corporate average fuel economy standards.

“Research on alternative fuels and vehicles is underway at federal labs and throughout industry, but we are also seeing exciting work that could take the internal combustion engine to new levels of efficiency and cost-effectiveness,” said Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.), the chairman of the subcommittee.

Schedule: The hearing is Wednesday, March 7, at 10:15 a.m. in 2322 Rayburn.

Witnesses: TBA.