'Open Fuel Standard' Proponents Want More Flexible FFVs

"I think China and Europe are two examples of promoting alternative fuels because both are short on natural resources and both don't want to be monopolized by oil imports," Hofmeister said. "China and others are moving faster on hydrogen fuel cells. Other parts of the world are going faster than the U.S. and we should learn from that."

"China's methanol industry is growing at a phenomenal rate, because this fuel is much more economical than gasoline per mile," added Korin. "Brazil's ratio of flex-fuel vehicles as a share of new cars increased from zero to 70 percent in 3 years. Now they're at 90 percent of new cars."

Fuel Flexibility ≠ 'All of the Above'

The Obama administration has used the term "all of the above" in regard to meeting growing energy demand. The term implies that the administration supports the development of a broad array of conventional and renewable energy sources. At first glance, the idea of fuel flexibility appears to conform with the administration's oft-stated slogan. However, Korin and Hofmeister both say that actual policy outcomes have yet to match the rhetoric.

"'All-of-the-above' is a throwaway line the administration created because it doesn't know what it's doing" in regard to energy policy, opined Hofmeister.

"The 'all of the above' political message is not the same as fuel flexibility," added Korin. "'All of the above' is an abdication of critical thinking. The question is not whether a politician 'likes' a particular fuel or technology but rather if they are going to do something to remove the regulatory and other obstacles that stand in its way."

The administration could demonstrate a genuine commitment to expanding Americans' energy choices by removing "disablers" to developing conventional and renewable resources, Hofmeister said. Perhaps the prime example of such an obstacle is the federal government's review of TransCanada's Keystone XL oil pipeline project, which began more than 5 years ago and (at this writing) continues, he noted.


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John F  |  June 13, 2013
Methanol! Are they kidding? Its worse than ethanol on your engine, hoses, etc.

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