Newly Introduced Legislation Supports Methanol-Fueled Vehicles

USESC ReportLegislation introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives this week would lower fuel economy requirements for automakers that produce vehicles capable of running on alternative fuels or technologies, including methanol.

The bill, H.R. 5107, the Fuel Choice for American Prosperity and Security Act (FCAPS) was introduced by Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) and draws from an idea first proposed by the US Energy Security Council in their recent report Fuel Choice for American Prosperity.

Specifically, the bill reduces the fuel economy obligations of automakers that open at least half of their fleet in a given model year to fuel competition of some sort, such as gasoline-ethanol-methanol fuel flexibility, vehicle electrification, CNG, biodiesel, and so forth. The bill also includes a catch all for new fuel choice enabling technologies.

The most recent corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards require cars to achieve an average fuel economy of 54.5 mpg by model year 2025. The program is designed to cut 6 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions over the lifetimes of the vehicles sold in model years 2012 to 2025.

FCAPS would reduce that obligation by 4 miles per gallon for automakers who warranty 50 percent or more of their vehicles in a given model year, starting in 2016, to run on the included alternative fuels or technologies.  The bill is cosponsored by Reps. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) and Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.).  In explaining the importance of the legislation, Rep. Cole noted that “By encouraging automakers to manufacture cars that operate on a variety of fuels, this allows them to not only meet the necessary CAFE regulations, but also be more competitive in the process.”  More information can be found here.


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