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Posted on  

June 28, 2001

NCGA Backs Bipartisan Bill to Simplify Fuel Standards and Boost Ethanol Use

A bipartisan effort in the U.S. House of Representatives led by Rep. Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Bobby Rush (D-IL) and with support of House Speaker Denny Hastert (R-IL) has introduced legislation to greatly simplify the manufacture and distribution of gasoline. The Gasoline Stabilization Act of 2001 calls for uniform standards for gasoline and diesel fuel throughout the nation and could boost the use of ethanol by adding as much as 15% of the nation's gasoline supply to the reformulated gasoline (RFG) program.

``Refiners will be required to produce gasoline under a uniform nationwide formula that meets the requirements of the RFG program using a single oxygenate,'' explained John McClelland, Director of Energy and Analysis at NCGA. ``This would eliminate all so-called 'boutique fuels' that many areas of the country have been using instead of reformulated gasoline to reduce air pollution.''

Some oil company executives have contended that the primary cause of gasoline price spikes have been the myriad fuels oil companies have to produce for the boutique markets. The legislation eliminates the ability of states to create special fuel requirements.

Blunt said the bill is about simple economics. ``It's time to see some common sense at the pump. Communities across the nation use as many as 45 different blends of gasoline. When supply can't meet demand in an area that uses a boutique fuel, prices shoot up.'' Rush added that his motivation for cosponsoring the bill ``stems from the incredible price spikes that consumers in Chicago and the rest of the Nation have endured over the past two years.''

McClelland noted, ``This is important legislation for all gasoline consumers because it will greatly simplify the refining and distribution system for gasoline while providing cleaner-burning ethanol blends to markets that need to improve their air quality.

``If boutique fuels are really the problem as the oil companies claim, then this bill fixes the problem,'' he concluded.

The bill, H.R. 2249, will be referred to the House Energy and Commerce Committee.


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