Both the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers — a trade group representing Detroit’s Big Three automakers — General Motors (GM), Ford (F), Toyota (TMC), and eight others, and the Association of Global Automakers — a group representing many major foreign automakers — including Nissan Motor Co., Honda Motor Co. (HMC) and Hyundai Motor Co., said that they oppose the “Open Fuel Standard Act of 2011,” which would mandate that 95 percent of all vehicles be capable of running on mostly biofuels by 2017, reported the Detroit News.
According to the car manufacturers there are at the moment over 8 million flex-fuel vehicles on U.S. roads that can run on either E85 or gasoline — yet on average they normally use less than a single tankful of E85 (85% ethanol) per year. Additionally, notes Detroit News, virtually no methanol is produced for use as transportation fuel in the United States today.
However ethanol enthusiasts support the bill.[Ffrom DN]: “American Coalition for Ethanol Executive Vice President Brian Jennings said the bill “provides consumers with meaningful fuel choices, including American-made ethanol.”
He said that high gas prices made the bill critical.
“With gas prices hovering at four dollars a gallon, and with oil companies unapologetic about massive profits, and refusing to even consider changes to their favored tax status, it is time for us to create real competition in the fuel marketplace, and this legislation does just that,” Jennings said.
But automakers and other groups questioned the bill.
“At a time when many policy makers are questioning the costs of ethanol to taxpayers, the environment and the food supply, effectively imposing a tax on consumers for a car that can run on ethanol and methanol – regardless of consumer demand and fuel availability – makes no sense,” said the letter to member of Congress signed by a coalition of groups,” including the American International Automobile Dealers Association, American Petroleum Institute and U.S. Chamber of Commerce.