Our Letter to Your Representative

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Our first and most important goal is to urge our representatives to co-sponsor the Open Fuel Standard Act. There are several ways you can do that: 1) call, 2) write your representative directly, or 3) write using a letter-sending tool. And for all these, we've provided some examples of pre-written letters for you to use herehere, hereherehere, and here.

But we thought we'd write one ourselves also. Here it is:

Subject: Open Fuel Standard Act of 2011

I am writing to you today in support of H.R. 1687, the Open Fuel Standard Act of 2011, introduced by Congressmen John Shimkus (R-IL) and Elliot Engel (D-NY). The Open Fuel Standard Act is a common-sense approach to energy independence — a critical national security issue — that will not require government funding and will bring fuel choice to all Americans.

As a concerned citizen, I want the ability to help make our nation energy and economically secure by lessening America's dependence on foreign oil and providing cost competitive choices at the fuel pump for all consumers.

H.R. 1687 would require that starting in 2014, 50% of new passenger and light-duty automobiles sold in the US be vehicles capable of operating on another fuel in addition to, or in place of, gasoline — whether natural gas, electricity, bio-diesel, hydrogen, flex fuel vehicles that can run on blends of methanol and ethanol, or others, as well as a catch-all provision for emerging or new and unknown technologies. In 2016, this requirement goes up to 80% and in 2017 the requirement becomes 95% for every every year thereafter. Manufacturers can still choose which type of vehicles or combinations they wish to produce, but if we are going to remove our dependence of foreign oil and secure our nation’s economy we cannot continue to sell vehicles powered solely by gasoline.

One of the technologies supported, flexible fuel vehicles — those that can operate on gasoline, methanol and ethanol blends — will allow consumers to select from three different types of fuel at the pump. Providing new cars with flexible fuel capability would cost around $100 per car and provide huge dividends to the consumer, while also creating jobs here at home because each one of these fuels can be domestically produced in mass quantity with the resources the US already has.

At zero cost to the federal government, H.R. 1687 is an excellent solution to reducing our nation’s dependency on foreign oil and passage of this proposal finally will allow us a choice of fuel each time we fill up our gas tanks. Our dependency on hostile foreign regimes for our gasoline will finally come to an end.

Aside from the national security perspective is the economic one. These are difficult times. Back home in our district, and across the nation, we are feeling the pinch of the rising cost of fuel, especially as we plan our summer vacations for the months ahead. It is critical that you and your colleagues focus on alternative energy sources and now. Open Fuel Standards as a solution is doable in the short term and inexpensive to put into practice. It would bring significant competition to the fuel pumps within three years. So what are we waiting for?

I urge you to support H.R. 1687 by signing onto the legislation as a co-sponsor and I would greatly appreciate a response on your views regarding this important issue.
Thank you.


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