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.
On 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.”