Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), John Hoeven (R-ND), Roy Blunt (R-MO), and Mike Crapo (R-ID) this week introduced bipartisan legislation that would “help produce more energy, increase competition, promote alternative fuels, provide more consumer choice and lower the cost of fuels at the pump.”
Sen. Klobuchar says the Domestic Fuels Act of 2012 would make it easier to market all fuels and give consumers more choice at the pump. “This would cut through red tape and help provide the clear standards needed to increase competition and bring homegrown energy to consumers,” said Klobuchar. “Now is the time to increase domestic production of energy, focus on the homegrown energy solutions that will reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and give consumers choice at the pump.”
The bill would streamline the regulatory process so that all fuels, both traditional and renewable, can be stored and dispensed with common equipment. It also 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.
Also included in the legislation is 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, and it establishes 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.
The measure is supported by a number of diverse industries and associations, including the Renewable Fuels Association, Growth Energy, American Petroleum Institute, Tesoro Corp., American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers, Petroleum Marketers Association of America, Exxon-Mobile, Association of Convenience Stores, Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America, National Association of Truck Stop Operators and Outdoor Power Equipment Institute.