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US House members introduce Open Fuel Standard Act

A bipartisan group of House members led by Congressmen John Shimkus (R, Illinois-19) and including Eliot Engel (D, New York-17), Steve Israel (D, New York-2) and Roscoe Bartlett (R-Maryland-6) introduced the technology-neutral Open Fuel Standard (OFS) Act (HR 1687).

The OFS would require that 50% of new automobiles in 2014, 80% in 2016, and 95% in 2017, would be warranted to operate on non-petroleum fuels in addition to or instead of petroleum-based fuels. Compliance possibilities include the full array of existing technologies—including flex fuel, natural gas, hydrogen, biodiesel, plug-in electric drive, and fuel cell—and a catch-all for new technologies. This requirement will then provide certainty to investors to produce alternative fuels and fueling stations to have a variety of pumps supplying those alternative fuels, the Representatives said.

The Big Three automobile companies have in the past stated their willingness to make 50% of new vehicles flex fuel by 2012.



This looks well intentioned, but not sure how a hybrid drive (ie electric & gasoline) would qualify. Wouldn't a hybrid need to be Flex-Fuel?

If this is a loophole one hopes the Congressmen (and women) recognize the need to apply the OFS to any vehicle with an internal combustion engine. This means VOLT type serial hybrids would have to be Flex Fuel by a certain date. Which is what GM promised in the first place.

The next step is to legislate distribution of flex fuels. This means a Federal mandate for an escalating percentage of corporate owned and franchised gas stations to sell OFS fuels in some capacity.

Matt Roberts

This legislation actually does not include straight hybrid vehicles - as, though they extend gasoline mileage, they do not replace the dependence on that fuel. Only hybrid FFVs would qualify.

And the beauty of this bill is that there is no need to legislate fuel distribution - or spend millions in funding infrastructure like other bills being proposed.

With vehicles on the road that can run on these fuels, the chicken and egg conundrum is cracked and retailers and investors can fund those efforts with the knowledge that the market won't dry up as soon as they do.


It costs about $200 per car to make them OFS FFVs. The U.S. auto makers said they could and would do it. Once you have tens of millions of these cars out there, a market can develop for alternative fuels. If not, we have many cars that can run gasoline with better fuel systems. They have stainless steel fittings and silicon rubber O rings that last longer.

This is the easiest and most beneficial move that I can think of. It costs very little and can do SO much good. They tried back in 2008 to get OFS passed and now they are trying again. There is bipartisan support for this and they have signatures for more than half the votes that they need. It is not often that we can find something that BOTH parties can agree on, but this is one of those times and we should take advantage of it for the benefit of all.


I want the congress to let supply and demand to shape our world not government intervention, they can go home on an extended vacation and quit trying to fix things. They are totally incapable of making things better. Political correctness has almost destroyed this republic. If they all would just get out of the way and get rid of useless regulations things would turn around and get headed in the right direction for a change! THE GOVERNMENT IS THE PROBLEM NOT THE SOLUTION!!!!

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