Weakening imported oil’s grip on Americans necessarily means expanding the availability and use of domestically produced renewable fuels. Addressing the inaugural Renewable Fuels Association’s Washington Legislative Forum, Senator John Hoeven detailed the elements of the bipartisan Domestic Fuels Act, introduced in late March.
Specifically, the Domestic Fuels Act would:
• Streamline the process so that all fuels, both traditional and renewable, can be stored and dispensed with common equipment. The bill requires the EPA to develop streamlined criteria so that underground tanks can be used to dispense gasoline, diesel, ethanol or some combination of fuels, rather than requiring the use of separate tanks.
• Provide liability protection for retailers that meet the streamlined EPA standards, so that they can sell multiple types of fuel with less red tape, providing consumers with more choice and lower fuel prices.
• Establish a new pathway for retailers to ensure that their equipment is safe and legally recognized as compatible to sell new fuels, thereby reducing the cost of entry for many retailers.
“We need to make all fuels available to American consumers and businesses, and we need to do so by using market-based measures that increase competition and remove bureaucratic obstacles to producing and marketing renewable fuels,” Hoeven said. “This is really about giving customers more choice and better prices at the pump by empowering retailers to market multiple fuels using the same equipment. That’s good for the customer, good for business and good for the nation.”
“By an overwhelming majority, Americans want to have more options at the pump and that means greater availability of domestically produced renewable fuels,” said RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen. “Expanding the availability of fuel choices like E15 directly reduces America’s demand for imported oil and creates jobs and economic opportunities that cannot be outsourced. The Domestic Fuels Act is a perfect example of the kind of thoughtful policies that can be created when all stakeholders work together for the common good. The RFA is grateful to Sen. Hoeven and his colleagues for introducing this bill and seeking a common sense approach to expanding the use of domestic renewable fuels.”
Earlier this week, the RFA released results from a poll conducted in late March that showed 58 percent of respondents were more likely to purchase fuels with higher domestic renewable fuel content, like E15, when available. The Domestic Fuels Act is designed to respond to this specific desire expressed by the American public.