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How alternative energy makes for bad public policy

John DeCicco is starting to make a name for himself speaking out against green cars. In June, he said electric vehicles won't help much unless the energy well they tap is cleaned up. He's now back with an article in a Yale University publication called Environment 360 that we're guessing some people won't like very much. DeCicco says that government subsidies and mandates, including the electric vehicle and alternative fuel vehicle campaign championed by the Obama administration, are a big waste of taxpayer's money.

There is "no environmentally persuasive reason to rush alternative fuel vehicles onto the road."

DeCicco is no stranger to the green car world. He is a University of Michigan research professor who's also been a senior fellow at the Environmental Defense Fund and who pioneered US green car ratings for the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. In his Environment 360 article, DeCicco lists programs each of the last five presidents have supported that he's critical of: Ronald Reagan signing off on the 1988 Alternative Motor Fuels Act; George H.W. Bush helping to shape the 1992 Energy Policy Act; Bill Clinton launching the Clean Cities program; George W. Bush supporting hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and the Renewable Fuel Standard; and Barack Obama wanting to see a million electric vehicles on US roads by 2015 and providing funding for alternative fuel vehicle deployment. DeCicco is blunt about what disagrees with in these Obama administration policies, in that they're "under the misguided presumption that alternative fuels emit significantly fewer greenhouse gases than gasoline, and goaded by green groups and alternative fuel business interests." He also says, that the reality is that the way we make alternative fuels today, gives "no environmentally persuasive reason to rush alternative fuel vehicles onto the road."

For DeCicco, much of it boils down to the source of the energy. For example, about two thirds of the electricity that powers EVs comes from fossil fuels – coal and natural gas – which takes away the environmental benefits of plugging in. He thinks that energy independence and reducing greenhouse gas emissions can be carried out on three fronts. Read the whole thing for the detailed analysis and DeCicco's suggested solutions.

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