To say that the political climate in Washington these days is hostile is a bit of an understatement. Even my 80-year old grandfather says that politics has never been this brutal or mean-spirited. Yet there are still those politicians who are trying to work for a better America. A group of Democratic and Republican Senators and members of the House have introduced the Domestic Fuel Act of 2012, which would streamline the regulatory process for selling biofuels.
Current EPA regulations are onerous, to say the least. One has to look no farther than the debacle surrounding E15, which has gone through approval hell just to reach gas pumps. The Domestic Fuel Act would allow gas retailers to store ethanol and other biofuels in the same tanks. It would also protect retailers from liability when customers fill up their car with the wrong fuel.
The bill would also help retailers better figure out what equipment is authorized by the EPA with use for certain types of fuels. The bill enjoys a cross-section of support from groups such as the American Petroleum Institute and the Renewable Fuels Association, an ethanol lobbying group.
Making it easier for fuel retailers to offer more choices at the pump will no doubt encourage diversity. But we need to do more to give consumers a choice of fuels at the pump. Otherwise we will remain shackled to the wild price fluctuations of oil.