Congressman Roscoe G. Bartlett: Bipartisan Members of Congress, Interest Groups Joined Me at News Conference in Support of the Open Fuel Standard bill

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The following was written by Congressman Roscoe G. Bartlett on Thursday, June 2, 2011:

I was joined by Congressmen John Shimkus (R, Illinois-19), Eliot Engel (D, New York-17), and Steve Israel (D, New York-2) and representatives of other interest groups today to urge support for the Open Fuel Standard (OFS) Act (HR 1687) at a news conference in Washington, DC.

The OFS would require that 50 percent of new automobiles in 2014, 80 percent in 2016, and 95percent in 2017, would be warranted to operate on nonpetroleum fuels in addition to or instead of petroleum based fuels. Compliance possibilities include the full array of existing technologies – including flex fuel, natural gas, hydrogen, biodiesel, plug-in electric drive, and fuel cell – and a catch-all for new technologies. This requirement will then provide certainty to investors to produce alternative fuels and fueling stations to have a variety of pumps supplying those alternative fuels.

*On May 24 President Obama issued a memorandum, “Federal Fleet Performance,” encouraging the purchase of alternative fuel vehicles for the federal fleet. The directive specifically requires all agency purchases of light duty vehicles be “alternative fueled vehicles, such as hybrid or electric, compressed natural gas, or biofuel” by December 31, 2015.

Last night, the House approved by voice vote an amendment offered by Congressman Engel to the FY 2012 Homeland Security Appropriations bill. The amendment codifies the Presidential memorandum on Federal Fleet Performance. It would ensure that no funds may be used by the Department of Homeland Security for its fleet of vehicles except in accord with the President’s Memorandum.

At the news conference, I noted that since the International Energy Agency (IEA) projects that world conventional oil production peaked in 2006-07, there is an increased risk of more supply disruptions and price shocks for petroleum with pain at the pump for consumers. We don’t know what fuel we will burn in our cars in the future, but we know that we need alternatives to $4/gal gas for transportation. That is what the Open Fuel Standard bill will provide.

Joining the Congressmen were former National Security Advisor Robert McFarlane, President and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association Bob Dinneen, and Executive Director of the Americas/Europe of the Methanol Institute Gregory Dolan.

The Big Three automobile companies have in the past stated their willingness to make 50 percent of new vehicles flex fuel by 2012. The cost of doing so is about $100 per vehicle. In Brazil the ratio of flex fuel vehicles went from zero to 70 percent in just three years.


President Obama issued a Memorandum on May 24, 2011 to break the monopoly of petroleum to fuel the federal fleet. Key excerpt is here: “By December 31, 2015, all new light duty vehicles leased or purchased by agencies must be alternative fueled vehicles, such as hybrid or electric, compressed natural gas, or biofuel. Moreover, agency alternative fueled vehicles must, as soon as practicable, be located in proximity to fueling stations with available alternative fuels, and be operated on the alternative fuel for which the vehicle is designed. Where practicable, agencies should encourage development of commercial infrastructure for alternative fuel or provide flex fuel and alternative fuel pumps and charging stations at Federal fueling sites.” full text is here:

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