Ethanol Groups Applaud Consumer Choice Bills

Increasing consumer fuel choice and solving the “chicken and the egg” challenge to energy independence are the goals of two bills introduced this week in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Herseth SandlinOn Wednesday, Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-SD) introduced the Consumer Vehicle Choice Act of 2010 (H.R. 5633) and the Consumer Fuels Choice Act of 2010 (H.R.5632). The first would mandate that auto manufacturers provide consumers with greater choice of flex fueled vehicles (FFVs). Under this legislation, 50 percent of cars and light duty trucks in model years 2011 and 2012 must be FFVs, and that percentage rises to 90 percent in model year 2013 and years after. The second bill would promote ethanol use through grants for the installation of blender pumps. The bills are co-sponsored by Rep. Adrian Smith (R-NE).

“Americans need more choices at the pump, and those choices can begin with the cars and trucks they drive. By requiring that auto manufacturers produce vehicles that give Americans greater choice of fuels, we will help reduce costs for consumers and bring the nation closer to energy independence,” said Herseth Sandlin.

Ethanol groups applauded the introduced of the bills as the right formula for lessening our dependence on fossil fuels.

“To finally break the hold that petroleum has at the pump, we must start introducing flexibility into the nation’s fuel system,” said Brian Jennings, Executive Vice President of the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE). “The smartest action we can take to move toward energy independence is to introduce flexibility into the fuel
system, and this can be done best through a combination of blender pumps and flexible fuel vehicles.”

“Expanding America’s use of ethanol requires pumps to dispense the fuel and vehicles to use it,” said Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) President and CEO Bob Dinneen. “Congresswoman Herseth Sandlin has introduced common sense legislation that addresses both needs. America’s ethanol producers can supply the fuel. What is needed is Congressional and Obama Administration support to bring it to consumers. This legislation goes a long way toward achieving that goal.”

Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis added, “Each additional Flex Fuel Vehicle model gives consumers the option of filling up with domestic, homegrown renewable fuel and enhances our national security, all while creating U.S. jobs that can’t be outsourced.”

6 thoughts on “Ethanol Groups Applaud Consumer Choice Bills

  1. I like the bills , but I wish that biodiesel was included , because at first reading it did not look like it was included

  2. Such a law is not needed for biodiesel, as it is already 100% compatible with today’s diesel engines, and can be used interchangeably. It also does not have as much near-term potential to replace petroelum diesel, as there is not enough waste animal and vegetable oils available to make much difference.

  3. If we are so worried about getting ethanol into the fuel tanks of vehicles without restriction of a certain percentage, then why not mandate 100% flex engine technology in the US (any gasoline engine, any size)? This is a simple step in manufacturing that can be done today. The drawback, from what I’ve seen is that, for cars, it also reduces the MPG one gets on traditional hydrocarbon fuel.

  4. One other point.
    This may give the consumer flexibility to change fuels, but unless the ethanol is much lower in price compared to the hydrocarbon the consumer won’t switch. The consumer WILL figure out that the lower pump price does not make up for the loss in MPG using an ethanol blend.

  5. Providing assistance in putting more blender pumps in is great.

    Just putting more E85 vehicles on the road with their current design isn’t going to help. The American public has clearly shown they are not going to buy E85 when put into an engine optimized for gasoline.

    The engines need to be optimized for E100 (98/2, gasoline/isopropanol)l with a minimum 30 mpg highway for mid-size and smaller vehicles and 24 mpg highway for larger vehicles.