Ending Oil Dependence: The Third Way
By EV World
Anne Korin helped found the Institute for Analysis of Global Security and then the the Set America Free coalition, whose mission is to free the nation from its over-dependence on petroleum, in particular oil from the volatile Middle East. She and her colleague, Gal Luft, have been spearheading efforts in Congress to introduce legislation that can go a long ways towards achieving the goals recently highlighted in the energy section of the 2006 State of the Union.
In addition to helping bring together what she refers to as some pretty strange political "bedfellows", she has also been busy briefing Congressional staffers on the issues surrounding America's over-reliance on petroleum and what technologies and policies can be instrumental in moving the country along what she calls the "third way" of fuel choice and technology.
The key provision of each bill is the establishing of a oil reduction target and year-by-year timeline of how to get there, including policy measures and technological options. The Senate bill asks for a 7 million barrels per day (mbd) reduction, while the House bill asks for 5 mbd in twenty years. The first target is 2.5 mbb by 2015.
From Korin's perspective one of the most immediate ways to implement an oil reduction strategy is through the greater use of alternative fuels, especially alcohol-based fuels like ethanol and methanol. Carmakers like Ford and GM have sold millions of flexible fuel cars and trucks in America and build hundreds of thousands of "second generation" flex-fuel engines in Brazil, like Ford's Flex 1.6 L engine used in the Brazilian-made EcoSport.
It costs carmakers less than $150 per vehicle to equip them to burn either gasoline or alcohol or blends of each. Korin sees this as a way for carmakers to absolve themselves of responsibility for the nation's oil dependency.
There are also provisions for providing tax incentives for plug-in hybrids and closing the gas-guzzler loophole.
You can listen to Korin's personal briefing for EV World readers and listeners by using the Flash-based MP3 player above or by downloading the 4.3MB audio file to your personal computer for playback on your favorite MP3 device.
Twin Fuel Choices Bills
Below are the links to both S2025 and HR 4409, as well as a summary of the measures found in the later as published on the Library of Congress Thomas web site.
- S2025 : Vehicle and Fuel Choices for American Security Act
- HR4409 : Fuel Choices for American Security Act of 2005
- Fuel Choices for American Security Act of 2005 - Instructs Director of the Office of Management and Budget to publish an action plan in the Federal Register that targets oil savings for specified years.
- Directs the Secretaries of Energy and of Transportation, and the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (Administrator), to promulgate regulations to implement the standards set forth in the Director's action plan.
- Requires the head of each federal agency to establish an oil usage baseline and develop a specified plan to reduce oil consumption.
- Directs the Postmaster General to report to Congress on annual fleetwide fuel savings and cost savings associated with eliminating Saturday mail delivery.
- Directs the Secretary of Energy to conduct a national media campaign to decrease domestic oil consumption.
- Amends federal transportation law to set forth a national tire efficiency program.
- Amends the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) to establish an idling reduction tax credit.
- Directs the Secretary of Transportation to conduct a research and development program for electric drive transportation technology.
- Directs the Secretary of Energy (Secretary) to establish a lightweight material research and development program.
- Amends the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to direct the Secretary to accelerate hybrid technology improvements by using loan guarantees that target automobile manufacturers and suppliers.
- Amends the IRC to allow: (1) an advanced technology motor vehicles manufacturing credit; and (2) a qualified flexible fuel hybrid and plug-in hybrid motor vehicle credit.
- Terminates the limitation on the number of qualified hybrid and advanced lean burn technology vehicles eligible for alternative motor vehicle credit.
- Directs the Secretary to issue regulations requiring each federal agency to achieve by FY2015 at least a 20% reduction in its fleet petroleum consumption.
- Amends the IRC to: (1) establish a fuel-efficient tax credit for private fleets; and (2) subject heavy vehicles to the depreciation limitation imposed upon certain luxury automobiles.
- Prescribes: (1) a production schedule for passenger cars that are either fuel choice enabling motor vehicles, or alternative fuel automobiles; and (2) calculations for flexible fuel vehicle economy.
- Requires the Secretary to transmit an action plan to Congress to ensure: (1) an increasing supply by non-oil fuels of the total domestic ground transportation fuel demand; and (2) nationwide inclusion of at least 10 % ethanol in the domestic ground transportation fuel supply by December 31, 2015.
- Amends the IRC to increase the alternative fuel vehicle refueling property credit.
Amends federal transportation law to establish the Alternative Fueling Infrastructure Trust Fund.
- Amends the Clean Air Act to prescribe the minimum quantity of renewable fuel derived from cellulosic biomass for specified calendar years.
- Amends federal transportation law to direct the Secretary of Transportation to designate Transit-Oriented Development Corridors in certain urbanized areas.
- Amends the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to: (1) repeal the geographical limitation on the Sugar Cane Ethanol Program; (2) authorize preprocessing and harvesting demonstration grants for transportation fuel produced from biomass (in lieu of ethanol production); (3) direct the Secretary to establish a loan guarantee program for conversion of municipal solid waste into transportation fuel produced from biomass (in lieu of ethanol); and (4) instruct the Administrator to fund demonstration projects for producing transportation fuel produced from biomass (in lieu of ethanol).