July 23, 2008

Legislation would help expand fuel choices

Senators Sam Brownback (R-KS), Ken Salazar (D-CO), Joseph Lieberman (I-CT), Susan Collins (R-ME) and John Thune (R-SD) have introduced the Open Fuels Standard Act, which would require that half of all new automobiles sold in the U.S. starting in 2012 to be flex-fuel. This requirement would jump to 80 percent by 2015.

Supporting the legislation is the Set America Free Coalition, which advocates the rapid adoption of flex-fuel vehicles as a way to develop a market for ethanol and other renewable fuels. A bigger market means more use -- and using more renewable fuels means using less imported oil. The often mentioned Robert Zubrin is a member of this coalition.

Although some people may not like the idea of a mandate, in this case the mandate would help bring more fuel choices to consumers - and at a very low cost. It only costs $100 extra to build a flex-fuel car - but as the number of cars that are equipped increases, that cost would likely drop. And just imagine what we'd all gain.

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