U.S. Rep Herseth Sandlin announced today the introduction of the Consumer Vehicle Choice Act of 2010 (H.R. 5633). This legislation mandates that auto manufacturers provide consumers with greater choice of flex fueled vehicles (FFVs), a step that will help move our nation closer to energy independence. 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.
FFV's are vehicles that can run on gasoline or a blend of up to 85% ethanol (E85). There are currently more than 6 million FFVs on America's roads today.
"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," sad Herseth Sandlin.
Proponents of renewable biofuels including the American Coalition for Ethanol, Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), and Growth Energy applauded Herseth Sandlin's bill:
"To finally break the hold that petroleum has at the pump, we must start introducing flexibility into the nation's fuel system. Increasing the number of flexible fuel vehicles is exactly the right step forward, and we applaud Congresswoman Herseth Sandlin for taking action on this important issue," said Brian Jennings, Executive Vice President of the American Coalition for Ethanol.
"If we are going to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, strengthen our economy and improve our environment, we need an energy bill that supports the expanded production and use of Flex Fuel Vehicles," said Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis. "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. We commend Rep. Herseth Sandlin for introducing legislation that will promote investment in clean, renewable transportation fuels like ethanol."
"Expanding America's use of ethanol requires pumps to dispense the fuel and vehicles to use it," said 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."
This week, Rep. Herseth Sandlin introduced the Consumer Vehicle Choice Act of 2010, as well The Consumer Fuels Choice Act of 2010 (H.R.5632). H.R. 5632 would increase the use of clean renewable biofuels by providing grants to defray the cost of installing blender pumps. The spread of blender pumps around the country would allow a much larger group of consumers to choose varying blends of ethanol and gasoline for their vehicles. Nationwide, most of the approximately 165 stations that currently have blender pumps are located in the Midwest. With a number of sites adding dispensers this summer, that total will increase to more than 200 locations and 500 pumps.
By both increasing the availability of renewable fuels at the pump, as well as the number of vehicles that can run on higher blends of renewable fuels, Herseth Sandlin is working to help solve the "chicken and the egg" challenge to energy independence.