Senators’ Bill to Mandate Ethanol Option for All Vehicles

Sen. Dick Lugar joined Sens. Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Barack Obama (D-IL) in introducing the Fuel Security and Consumer Choice Act. This bill would require all U.S. marketed vehicles to be manufactured as Flexible Fuel Vehicles (FFVs) within ten years.

FFVs can use both regular gasoline and E-85 renewable fuel (motor fuel with 85 percent ethanol content). This capability would ensure access to an important alternative to foreign petroleum in the future as the nation’s renewable fuels industry continues to expand rapidly. “Flexible Fuel Vehicles play an important role in increasing our use of renewable fuels and decreasing our dependence on foreign oil. America’s insatiable appetite for oil places our nation in a precarious situation of reliability on regions that have become increasingly hostile to us,” Lugar said. “This bill would complement the exciting advances in the energy bill that Congress passed earlier this year that more than doubled the production and use of domestic renewable fuels. Passage of this legislation would send an important signal to the market that renewable fuels…will be fully embraced by our nation.” The bill would require 10 percent of vehicles sold in the U.S. be FFVs within 18 months of passage. The requirement would increase by 10 percent for each subsequent model year resulting in all new vehicles being FFVs within ten years. “In July, I visited Terre Haute to congratulate Indiana’s first E-85 fuel station. Since then I have watched as numerous stations across the state have joined the movement and more are in the planning stages. With high oil prices, ethanol is becoming increasingly attractive. It is exciting that Hoosiers are growing the feedstocks for these fuels every year,” Lugar added. Earlier this year, Lugar led 21 bipartisan Senators in introducing the Fuels Security Act to more than double the production and use of domestic renewable fuels including ethanol, biodiesel and fuels produced from cellulosic biomass. This legislation laid the groundwork for the renewable fuels section of the energy bill that passed the Congress in July 2005. As former chairman of the Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee, Lugar initiated a biofuels research program to help decrease U.S. dependency on foreign oil. In a time of relatively low fuel prices, he co-authored “The New Petroleum” in Foreign Affairs with former CIA Director James Woolsey extolling the need to accelerate the use of ethanol, especially that derived from cellulose. He authored and passed the Biomass Research and Development Act of 2000, which remains the nation’s premier legislation guiding renewable fuels research. Lugar also has co-authored and supported legislation to dramatically increase the use of renewable fuels in all U.S. vehicles. Courtesy of
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