April 22, 2009 | Press Release

Open Fuel Standard Act Introduced in Senate and House

Bill Seeks to Strengthen National Security by Ending Oil's Monopoly in Transportation

Washington, D.C. (April 22, 2009) — The Foundation for Defense of Democracies welcomed the introduction in the Senate and House of the Open Fuel Standard Act, which seeks to ensure that most new cars sold in the United States can run on a variety of fuels — not just on gasoline.

The Senate version, S. 835, was introduced this week by Senators Cantwell (D-WA), Brownback (R-KS), Lieberman (ID-CT), Klobuchar (D-MN), Collins (R-ME) and Thune (R-SD). The House version, H.R. 1476, was introduced on March 13, 2009, by Reps. Engel (D-NY), Inglis (R-SC), Israel (D-NY), and Bartlett (R-MD). Versions of the Open Fuel Standard Act introduced in the 110th Congress drew substantial bipartisan support.

“Our dependence on foreign oil is one of the greatest national security challenges facing the United States,” said FDD President Clifford D. May. “There are many good reasons to support fuel choice and fuel diversity. Members of Congress from both parties support this legislation because they recognize the need to create a competitive fuel market by breaking oil's monopoly at the pump. Such legislation will benefit America's national security, consumers, economy, and environment.”

The Open Fuel Standard Act would ensure that by 2015 at least 80% of the cars manufactured or sold in the United States are capable of running on a variety of fuels, including an 85% blend of ethanol or methanol (with gasoline constituting only 15% of the mixture). Ethanol can be made from a wide variety of agricultural products, including corn and sugarcane. Methanol can be made from weeds, algae, urban garbage, coal, flared gas and many other materials.

FDD recently published a policy monograph, “From Energy Crisis to Energy Security,” with contributions from ten bipartisan experts who examined the prospects for replacing gasoline with alternative fuels.

FDD Senior Fellow Robert Zubrin is the author of the book Energy Victory, in which he provides a comprehensive strategy to break the oil monopoly by requiring that all cars be flexible-fuel vehicles (FFVs) capable of running on gasoline, ethanol, methanol and other liquid energy sources.

On March 5, 2009, FDD sponsored a Leading Thinkers panel on the prospects for a “net-zero” energy tax that would ensure a minimum price for gasoline to promote investments in alternative fuels while returning any funds collected directly to taxpayers. The idea was introduced and discussed by syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer. Additional discussants included former CIA Director R. James Woolsey and former Clinton environment and energy official Roger Ballentine. Video of the event is here.

For more about FDD's energy work, please contact Judy Mayka at 202-621-3948 or [email protected]

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