By: Jonathan Greenstein, ICGA Legislative Intern
A bipartisan group, co-sponsored by Representative Shimkus (R-IL), introduced a bill last week that could expand fueling options at gas stations nationwide.
The Illinois Corn Growers Association supports House Bill 1687, The Open Fuel Standard Act. The proposed bill would require that 50% of new automobiles in 2014, 80% in 2016, and 95% in 2017, be able to operate on nonpetroleum fuels in addition to or instead of petroleum based fuels.
Nonpetroleum fuels include: flex fuel (ethanol), hydrogen, natural gas, biodiesel, plug-in electric, and fuel cell.
We applaud Representative Shimkus for his continuous support for corn and corn-based ethanol. A growing corn-based ethanol market is vital for rural development and family farmer’s profitability.
Legislators say that The Open Fuel Standard Act would encourage investors to produce alternative fuels and fueling stations in the future. Essentially, the bill will prevent OPEC from continuing their monopoly at the gas-pump. Americans will be able to choose alcohol fuels made by an American workforce.
“My goal is for the consumer to have the choice when they pull up to the pump. A choice of fuels made from oil, coal, renewables, natural gas, waste products, and other feedstock,” said Representative Shimkus. “The consumer can then make a choice based on price or the energy source. In addition, this is one way for our nation to move toward energy independence.”
Other sponsors on the bill include: Eliot Engel (D-NY), Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD), and Steve Israel (D-NY).
Representative Shimkus said on his Twitter page that he will “be at the House Triangle today at 1 to talk about the Open Fuel Standard with (Representative Engel and Representative Bartlett).”
For more information on The Open Fuel Standard Act – you can visit the official site for the bill. http://www.openfuelstandard.org/