WASHINGTON, D.C. --- The Bush administration is pushing a plan to discontinue the current U.S. renewable fuels standard requiring the expansion of ethanol use to 6.8 billion gallons a year in 2010. Instead, the administration is proposing a broader alternative fuels requirement in an effort to reduce the country's dependence on foreign oil, according to a Reuters report. The administration today sent Congress a legislative proposal that outlines a new standard --- one that would require U.S. ethanol and alternative fuel consumption to reach 10 billion gallons in 2010. The standard would then rise through 2014 and accelerate the following three years to reach 35 billion gallons annually in 2017. This goal is part of President Bush's plan to cut projected 2017 gasoline consumption by 20 percent, Reuters reported. In addition to ethanol, the draft legislation cites such alternative fuels as biodiesel, natural gas and hydrogen. The draft bill calls for a credit, banking and trading program as an incentive for alternative fuel production and also authorizes the federal government to sell compliance credits to ensure the program doesn't impose unreasonable costs on consumers.

Originally posted on Fleet Financials