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Providing for Consideration of H.R. 6, Energy Policy Act of 2005

Location: Washington, DC

PROVIDING FOR CONSIDERATION OF H.R. 6, ENERGY POLICY ACT OF 2005 -- (House of Representatives - April 20, 2005)


Mr. RYAN of Wisconsin. Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the gentleman yielding me this time. I want to talk about a very important issue that should appeal to all Republicans and Democrats in this House, and that is gas prices.

One provision that is included in this bill, the Boutique Fuel Reduction Act, is very, very important to reducing the price spikes that we are experiencing.

Let me just explain. This map right here of America looks like a piece of modern art. It shows you all of the different fuels we have running around America.

Because of the Clean Air Act, a very good law, we never thought about having a Federal fuel system, so today we have 18 different base blends of gasoline; throw the different octanes in there, we have 45 different fuels.

So we have a full distribution system, national in scope; we have pipelines and refineries that are meant to put one fuel out there for America that was built in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, which was the last time that it was upgraded. Now, when we go from winter blend to summer blend gasoline, we throw all of these different blends into the system.

What that does for all of our consumers, our constituents, is it makes those boutique fuels short in supply and therefore high in price. It makes the system which is running at full capacity very vulnerable to price spikes if there is any hiccup in supply. This map of 45 different blends is a result.

The current ozone nonattainment areas, the blue areas on this map, 217 counties. But now with the new 8-hour ozone rule which has been released last year, takes effect in 2 years, 474 counties in America will now be out of attainment with respect to the ozone rule.

That is the red counties. That means we go from 217 counties to 474 counties that will have to select new blends of gasoline. What this bill does is it says let us get some common sense to this system. Let us have the Department of Energy and the EPA figure out a Federal fuel system so we can maintain our clean air standards, but standardize our fuel blends so we can stabilize our supply of gasoline and therefore stabilize our price of gasoline.

If there is a problem in supply overnight, an immediate problem like we had in Arizona last year, Wisconsin on a couple of times with a pipeline break or a refinery fire, the EPA has waiver authority on a 20-day basis to fix that.

The second thing we do is we cap the amount of fuel blends so the problem does not get any worse now that we are running to the 8-hour rules. We can have clean air and cheap gas at the same time, Mr. Speaker. That is what this bill does. I urge adoption of this rule and this bill.


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