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Hill Panel Discusses Open Fuel Standard and Renewable Fuels

Last week, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power, held a hearing entitled, The American Energy Initiative: A Focus on Alternative Fuels and Vehicles, both the Challenges and Opportunities. Witnesses included representatives from the American Petroleum Institute, with whom Global Automakers recently announced the results of a new engine durability study documenting the consequences of E15 use on vehicles not designed to use such fuel.

One of the topics discussed during the hearing was the Open Fuel Standard bill (H.R. 1687) mandating that 95 percent of gasoline-powered light-duty vehicles be tri-fuel vehicles capable of running on any combination of ethanol, methanol, and gasoline beginning in model year 2017. While well intentioned, the Open Fuel Standard is effectively a misguided technology mandate that will cost consumers billions of dollars each year and create unintended, adverse consequences for vehicle manufacturers and stifle emerging technologies. 

The Association believes that the use of renewable fuel like ethanol has an important role to play in advancing America’s environmental and energy security concerns. However, the effectiveness of an alternative fuel depends critically on its price, availability and the willingness of consumers to use it. To be successful, infrastructure must also be addressed to enable a coordinated introduction of vehicles and fuels into the marketplace, along with effective protections against misfueling and provisions to ensure adequate supplies of legacy fuels for older vehicles.

It is for these reasons that Global Automakers, along with other concerned groups, filed suit against EPA following the Agency’s retroactive, “partial waiver” decisions, allowing the use of E15 fuel in certain vehicles (MY2001 and newer) not designed or warranted for such fuel. A decision in this case is expected by the end of the month. Check back at DrivingFuelEconomy.com for a blog entry once the decision is announced.

Global Automakers’ members are committed to producing vehicles that are environmentally responsible and will help address America’s energy security concerns. Learn more about the strides they are making in advanced vehicle technologies here

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