TEN reasons why an OPEN FUEL STANDARD is good for the environment
Almost all of the roughly 15 million new vehicles rolled onto America’s roads annually arecapable of running on nothing but oil. This gives oil a stronghold over our economy whileexposing us to economically devastating supply disruptions and price shocks.An OPEN FUEL STANDARD
would require new cars sold in the U.S. to be warranted to operateon non-petroleum fuels in addition to or instead of petroleum based fuels. Competition andconsumer choice in the transportation fuel market would, by enabling drivers to choose topurchase a different fuel on the fly, serve to dampen the impact of oil price volatility on oureconomy.Such a policy would also have important benefits for the environment.1.
Oil is the largest contribution to U.S. CO2 emissions. Oil is responsible for 42% of U.S.CO2 emissions while coal is responsible for 37%. A variety of alternative fuels havelower lifecycle carbon content than oil. An OPEN FUEL STANDARD would enable lowercarbon fuels to compete against oil.2.
While alternative fuels become greener, oil becomes dirtier. As we shift from coalpowered electricity to natural gas, nuclear and renewable energy our grid is becomingcleaner as time goes by. Electric vehicles enable us to take advantage of this cleanerelectricity. The shift to second and third generation biofuels also delivers environmentalbenefits. In other words, alternatives become cleaner. On the other hand, perpetuatingoil-powered transportation inevitably means that we will be using increasingly carbonintensive fuels as we move from conventional crude to non-conventional oil made fromtar sands and oil shale.3.
Reduce methane flaring. Throughout the world, natural gas producing countries flaremethane at the wellhead, a greenhouse gas 23 times more potent than CO2. Accordingto the World Bank 5 trillion cubic feet of methane are flared globally, equivalent toroughly one third of U.S. natural gas consumption. It takes 100 cubic feet of natural gasto produce one gallon of methanol. Opening the door to methanol will entice methaneflaring countries to monetize this potent greenhouse gas by capturing it and turning itinto usable fuel.4.
Enable CO2-to-fuel pathways. The most economically sensible way to deal with CO2 isnot to bury it but to use it as feedstock in the production of usable and sellableproducts. Ethanol and biodiesel can be made from CO2 soaking algae. Methanol can bemade from hydrogenated flue gas emitted by power plants. Opening our vehicleplatforms to such fuels would instill CO2 in the value chain of our fuel supply ensuringthat every CO2 molecule we burn on board a vehicle is cancelled out by a similarmolecule captured in the fuel making process.