One of the key elements to the success of ethanol as a fuel in Brazil has been the requirement for all filling stations to have at least one ethanol pump and it looks like the U.S. Congress may finally be pushing for this as well. Currently, only about 1,700 of the nation's 170,000 gas stations have an ethanol pump and so many of the millions of flex-fuel vehicle drivers out there couldn't use E85 even if they wanted to. However, while mandating more ethanol availability is a good idea in principle, until cellulosic ethanol becomes commercially available, it would be counter-productive to have so many ethanol pumps. There isn't enough ethanol to feed that many outlets anyway right now. A separate Senate bill introduced by Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, and Max Baucus, D-Mont, also addresses energy policy. The bill would apparently cut back on the tax breaks that big oil companies get and use at least some of that money to fund consumer tax credits of up to $7,500 for plug-in vehicles. Meanwhile House speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has committed to inserting funding for $25 billion in federally guaranteed loans to automakers to help pay for the transition to more efficient vehicles. That funding will be attached to some bill that is guaranteed to pass and be signed by the president.

[Source: Detroit News]

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