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Energy Security Leadership Council Meets with Lawmakers, WH Officials

Executives of shippers, chemical companies and other big users of petroleum products want the new Congress to tighten fuel-efficiency standards and open new offshore areas for oil and gas drilling, The Wall Street Journal reports (subscription needed).

The group, the Energy Security Leadership Council, is co-chaired by Frederick Smith, chairman and president of FedEx, and Gen. P.X. Kelley, a former commandant of the Marine Corps. Other members include Robert Hormats, vice chairman of Goldman Sachs International; Andrew Liveris, CEO of Dow Chemical Co.; and Gen. Michael Ryan, former chief of staff of the Air Force.

Congress is supportive, but noncommittal, the WSJ reports. The council is meeting with leaders of the House and Senate today and with Bush administration officials.

The group says lawmakers should force auto makers to raise fuel-efficiency standards for passenger cars by four percent a year. It also proposes a “smart subsidy” that would shift government incentives from corn-based ethanol, when prices for the fuel additive are high, to other promising domestic fuel sources. And in an appeal to environmental groups, the council called for increased regs on new offshore oil drilling and said the government shouldn’t invest more money in research into oil shale because of carbon-dioxide emissions.

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