Help Break Petroleum’s Monopoly on Transportation Fuel

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Senator Dan Lederman
The following is a letter by Senator Dan Lederman. 

I am excited to share information about important legislation aimed at promoting U.S. energy independence that was introduced last week in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The Open Fuel Standard Act, which has been designated as H.R. 1687, is sponsored by Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL), and cosponsored by Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD) and Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY). It has been referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, of which Congressman Shimkus is a senior member.

H.R. 1687 would put our country on a path to genuine consumer choice at the gas pump by requiring that new cars are able to run on non-petroleum fuels like ethanol, in addition to petroleum based fuels.

If passed, the bill would require that by 2014, 50 percent of new cars sold in the U.S. would have this ‘flex-fuel’ capacity, by 2016, 80 percent of new cars would be flex-fuel ready, and by 2017, 95 percent of new cars would comply with the flex-fuel standard.

Last week, an Energy and Commerce subcommittee held a hearing on “the challenges and opportunities for alternative transportation fuels and vehicles,” and it is hoped that action to advance H.R. 1687 by passing it out of committee and bringing it to the full House will occur soon.

I am writing this to ask for your help. Please take a moment to call, email or write your Congressman and urge them to cosponsor H.R. 1687, the Open Fuel Standard Act.

Information about how to contact a Congressman can be found by clicking here or by calling 202-224-3121.

When discussing this legislation, remember the following points:

Until consumers have viable alternatives to petroleum-based fuel for their cars, our nation will never attain energy independence.
It’s estimated that our dependence on foreign oil results in $600 billion every year flowing from American consumers to hostile nations. This is unacceptable. 
H.R. 1687 will spur the availability of alternative options for consumers and deprive oil exporting countries – many of which are hostile to the U.S. – of leverage over us. 
By committing to this transition, we will incentivize investment in alternative fuels technology.
Brazil has shown that this can be done: An aggressive effort there caused the share of vehicles with flex-fuel capacity to surge from zero to 70 percent in just three years.

Advancing pro-energy independence policy is a core commitment of mine and I hope you join me to advocate for legislation that widens the availability of flex-fuel cars with the aim of reducing our nation’s dependence on foreign oil as the overwhelming source of fuel for our nation’s transportation.

- Senator Dan Lederman

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