WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) proposed an amendment, which was included in the Manager's Amendment to the FY07 Legislative Branch Appropriations Bill, that would install an E-85 pump near the Capitol Complex for official vehicles to use. E-85 is an alcohol fuel mixture of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline, by volume. According to a May 2006 report from the Department of Energy, the District currently has no E-85 stations and Maryland has 4.
Normal vehicles can not use E-85 fuel. You must have what is known as a flexible fuel vehicle. According to fueleconomy.gov, "A flexible fueled vehicle (FFV) has a single fuel tank, fuel system, and engine. The vehicle is designed to run on unleaded gasoline and an alcohol fuel (usually ethanol) in any mixture. The engine and fuel system in a flex-fuel vehicle must be adapted slightly to run on alcohol fuels because they are corrosive. There must also be a special sensor in the fuel line to analyze the fuel mixture and control the fuel injection and timing to adjust for different fuel compositions. The flex-fuel vehicle offers its owner an environmentally beneficial option whenever the alternative fuel is available."
Flexible fuel vehicles are currently on the market. A list of vehicles can be seen at http://www.e85fuel.com/e85101/flexfuelvehicles.php.
Hoyer released the following statement today regarding his amendment:
"If our nation is to become energy independent, then every American must be a part of the effort, and the government must lead by example.
"The drastic rise in the price of gasoline has increased interest in promoting alternative fuels. One area where we have already acted to a certain extent is in the development of more alternatively fueled vehicles. The auto companies are making flex fuel vehicles now - nearly 5 million are on the road. But not everyone driving a flex fuel vehicle knows it.
"For example, only after I recently inquired if it would be possible to use a flex fuel vehicle for my official transportation was I informed that my official vehicle was a flex fuel car. The problem that I have since encountered and that most government agencies face in using alternative fuel is difficulty in accessing alternative fuels, in this case e-85 - a mixture of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline.
"Access to alternative fuels is a major impediment to its use nationally as well. There are more flex fuel vehicles on the road, but they are running on gasoline because alternative fuel is not available nearby.
"We need widespread alternative fuel infrastructure to encourage its use and have it take hold with the general public. The federal government must lead by example, and because there are very few commercial or government fueling stations with e-85 in close proximity to the Capitol Complex, I have proposed that the Architect of the Capitol study the feasibility of and subsequently install an e-85 pump near the Capitol Complex.
"Major transformation comes from the collection of many smaller steps. This is a small but symbolically important step towards making our nation energy independent. It is my expectation that we will fill official vehicle tanks with e-85 at this time next year."
More information on E-85 can be found at:
Congressman Hoyer is the Federal Representative for the Fifth Congressional District of Maryland. Members of the United States House of Representatives serve two-year terms. Mr. Hoyer also serves as the Minority Whip. The Minority Whip is a member of the minority party in the U.S. House of Representatives who assists the Minority Leader in coordinating the party caucus in its responses to legislation and other matters.
Mr. Hoyer's website is located at http://www.hoyer.house.gov/. His office can be reached at (202) 225-4131. More biographical info on Mr. Hoyer can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steny_Hoyer.