WASHINGTON — Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss) is supporting bipartisan legislation intended to help ease fuel prices and increase consumer energy choices by decreasing the fees and regulations on domestic and alternative fuels distribution.
Cochran is cosponsoring the Domestic Fuels Act of 2012 (S.2264), which would instruct the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop streamlined standards so that underground tanks can be used to dispense multiple types of fuel, whether gasoline, diesel, ethanol or a combination of fuels. The policy would provide distributors an opportunity to safely use existing equipment to provide a broader array of fuels without requiring costly, new infrastructure.
“The success of biofuels and other energy sources will hinge, in part, on their accessibility. This bill would create opportunities to help cut prices and have more alternative fuel choices available to consumers by removing liability and infrastructure hindrances,” Cochran said.
S.2264 would allow retailers who meet the EPA standards to gain liability protection in their efforts to make biofuels, such as E15 and higher ethanol blends, more widely available.
The bill directs the EPA to set guidelines to reduce unnecessary fees and regulations that now inhibit the availability of renewable and alternative fuels that can be sold through existing motor fuel retail outlets. The measure also seeks to reduce the cost of entry for many retailers by establishing a new process to ensure safety and authorization of equipment compatible to sell new fuels.
Authored by Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.), S.2264 has the bipartisan support of eight cosponsors. It is currently pending with the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.
Several associations and institutes support this bill, including the Mississippi Petroleum Marketers Association, Renewable Fuels Association, American Petroleum Institute, Petroleum Marketers Association of America and others, according to Cohran.