WASHINGTON, D.C. --- U.S. senators Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) have introduced a bill aimed at increasing use of alternative fuel technologies to decrease the country’s dependence on foreign oil. The legislation, called the American Fuels Act of 2006 (S. 2446), takes a four-step approach. The first step would boost production of cellulosic biomass ethanol (CBE) to 250 million gallons by 2012, and require that 2 billion gallons of alternative diesels be mixed into the 40 billion gallon annual national diesel pool by 2015. The second step would provide a short-term 35 cents-per-gallon tax credit for E85 fuel and give automakers a $100 tax credit for every E85-capable Flexible Fuel Vehicle produced. The third step would require the federal government to allow public access to alternative fueling stations located on federal government property. Also, only clean buses would be eligible for federal cost-sharing. In addition, the bill would establish a Defense Department “fly-off competition” to encourage private sector companies to compete to discover the most energy-efficient alt-fuels for defense purposes. Finally, the bill would create the post of energy security director to oversee and keep America focused on energy independence. “This bill will help tilt our energy balance toward alternative fuels, moving these fuels into additional markets and making them more widely available for consumers,” Lugar said. “We believe that U.S. national security will be served by more robust coordination of all the elements that contribute to energy security.”

Originally posted on Fleet Financials