The Alternative Agenda: State Of The Union; EPA Greenlights Higher Ethanol Blending Requirement; Jeff Immelt Gets The Presidents Ear

Keep Pushing For Energy Reform, Greens Urge President Ahead of? State Of The Union

Given last November’s conservative tilt, there’s no chance for comprehensive energy reform legislation will land onthe President’s desk in the next two years. But that new reality shouldn’t intimidate President Obama from protecting the EPA?s stated goal to regulate Co2?and green house gases in tomorrow’s State of the Union, say environmentalists. Quoting an unnamed environmentalist, The Hill’s E2 Wire writes that Obama should use tomorrow?s speech ?to send a powerful signal that even must-pass bills can?t be used to block EPA.”

Talking about the EPA? Agency Pumps-Up Ethanol Blending Rates

Last week the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said cars and light trucks manufactured in 2001 onwards could have a blend of 15 percent ethanol mix pumped into their engines. That a five percent increase from the previous blending mandate, reports the New York Times Green blog. Could these new regulations fuel a new ethanol bubble?? Not likely, at least in the short-term. The EPA?s approval comes at a time when overall gasoline sales are down. Also, Green writes, distributing ethanol to consumers will require investments at the pump that retailers might be unwilling to do.

GE’s Jeff Immelt Joins Obama Team

GE CEO Jeff Immelt is joining the Obama administration as a part-time head of the newly-formed Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. Having Immelt joining the president?s ?advisory circle? is good news for the green industry and assures them some clout in Washington because as TreeHugger writes, Immelt ?has been an outspoken advocate for clean energy.? Also, the appointment is an indication that the President has not given up on his green agenda but is using the Executive branch (rather than Congress) toon at least parts of it!

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