• Mar 26, 2006
Senators Barack Obama (D-IL) and Richard Lugar (R-IN) introduced the American Fuels Act of 2006 to the U.S. Senate last week, a bill designed to promote bio and alternative fuels in the hopes of reducing the nation’s dependence on foreign oil.
The bill includes some interesting ideas, including an Alternative Diesel standard that requires 5-percent of the nation’s annual diesel pool be comprised of alternative diesels, a tax credit for automakers of $100 per flex-fuel vehicle produced, allowing the public access to alternative fueling stations on federal property and, this one’s a biggie, the establishment of the Office of Energy Security, complete with its own cabinet member, the Director of Energy Security.

We’re curious to know if you think this new bill has teeth or if its another case of a pair of politicians flapping their gums.

[Source: GreenCarCongress]


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  • 10 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      This actually seems to address the biggest remaining barriers to larger scale adoption of these fuels. It gives a small incentive to drive the manufacture of more E85 cars. It also provides incentive to gasoline retailers to offer it more widely. It doesn't and won't provide full energy independence but it does seem to be a nice step towards incrementally reducing it. Bravo for someone actually trying to do something about the problem (and a bi-partisan effort too).
      • 8 Years Ago
      So basically, nothing "moves" unless someone else can make a profit from it... that's sad!!
      • 8 Years Ago
      I saw a documentary that clamied that 75% of vehicles sold in Brazil are flex-fuel....and they make their own biodisel from sugarcane...

      by next year they will be completely oil independent, using their own biodisel and oil they have in their borders, no more importing.

      you would think that if brazil can pull it off, the US should be able to do so as well, right?? Too bad the US doesn't work that way, common sense doesn't seem to work here....and that's probably becasue the congressmen just plain suck.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Kwyjibo (#3):

      Brazil makes ethanol from sugarcane, not biodiesel. The climate here in the US is only suitable for sugarcane in a few places. This is why we make ethanol from corn (a poor choice, really. The energy return is only marginal), and there is such heavy research into cellulose ethanol.

      As far are biodiesel is concerned, the industry is seeing exponential growth. But though soybeans have a solid positive energy return, the oil yield per acre is about 50 gallons. Canola/rapeseed is about three times that. But even more are certain species of algae, which are 50% oil by volume. (Google GreenFuel Technologies)

      So, yes we can do this. Prices are high enough right now to spur investment.
      • 8 Years Ago
      This is an idiotic demonstration of economic illiteracy that will actually be damaging to the environment. It would be absolutley disastrous for the decision of what will ultimately(oh, in 100 years or so,)replace oil to be based what politician's pet project lands the most pork.

      There's no such thing as "energy independence"--it's just a euphemism for "proetctionism"--and simply using something other than oil does not actually insulate you from rising oil prices, the price of one form of energy affects all the others.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Politics is the situation commonly overlooked. Political parties (all 2 of them) have control over what is passed and negotiating that which is passed. Unfortunately, politicians are Extremely beholen to The contributions (the Supreme Court said giving gobs and gobs of money to politicians is NOT bribery, but just exercising free speech as guarenteed in our Constitution. So the gobs and gobs of free speech trune our politicians of our policital parties (all 2 of them) help them propse , negotiate and amend bills until free speech contributors are satisfied. This is particularly true with tax law (and exemtions to the big free speechers, the oil, food and transportation industries). There are others, for example, the people who will build a highway interchange in ultra-rural Alaska. So, unless it will give the BIG Free Speechers a 10,000 % Return on their Free speech investments, DON'T HOLD YOUR BREATH !!! Just go to the polls and continue to vote for the guys who swear they will "create jobs for you", and "bring home the bacon" to you their cherished constituants - if you've execised your freew speech rights (read obligation for gobs and gobs of "contributions"). Otherwise, shut up and get out of the way of the New Standard Oil Trusts and the New Phone Company, and...well you know what I mean---"let the 'marketplace' set the agenda".
      • 8 Years Ago
      Oh, so its been introduced.

      So it should get passed by about, what, 2078? Then we should start seeing results around 2202.

      As much as I hate to say it, the only effective thing the GOVERNMENT could ever do is it somehow force lower supplies of gasoline to force the price up, finally moving along the alternative fuels to reality.

      Of course, people could always demand it, but people are too stupid to even know what an alternative fuel is, or that they even exist.
      • 8 Years Ago

      "Hello, we're from the Government and we're here to help."

      I wouldn't trust a Congressmen to change a flat tire nor to solve what the free market can do better. We've been "helped" (taxes) too much already.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Steven (#2)

      The financial incentive ("load of money") is production efficency (GDP) or in this case, Output/BTU. Successful companies are always searching for efficiency and will therefore push & pull markets to increase yields. Profits are a better inducement to energy efficiency than regulatory tax schemes.

      Besides, when was the last time Government demonstrated efficiency?
      • 8 Years Ago
      Addendum: please forgive the occasional spelllling error. My keyboard has been like this since I installed it and nothing seems to help: beating, drowning, retraining, threats.. so I just put up with it. It's "wireless" and you know how unpredictable those devices cann be.