Upton unveils energy plan in Niles

Published 9:24 pm Thursday, February 23, 2006

By Staff
NILES - Congressman Fred Upton (R-St. Joseph), a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, has introduced bipartisan legislation to ease the country's dependence upon oil. His announcement was made in Niles this morning.
Upton's bill, H.R. 4774, simply requires that gasoline have a 10 percent ethanol blend by the year 2012. Ethanol decreases the fuel's cost, increases the fuel's octane rating and decreases gasoline's harmful emissions.
"As demand for oil continues to grow across the globe at record prices per barrel, we must address our country's dependence on foreign oil, and this bill is a good start in the right direction," Upton said. "Switching to 10 percent ethanol is a no brainer - it's good for the environment, it's good for our farmers, it's good for consumers, and it's the right policy. Every way you look at it, ethanol is the way to go, and we will conserve billions of barrels of oil as a nation. It is also important to note that every vehicle on the road today can already use E10 with no modifications to the engine."
"The National Corn Growers Association applauds Rep. Fred Upton's support and his vision for the ethanol industry's future. Ethanol and its co-products represent a wide array of opportunities for Michigan, bringing together agriculture and the manufacturing sectors to create jobs and other entrepreneurial opportunities for our state," said Bruce Noel, Michigan corn grower and NCGA Ethanol Committee Chairman.
"As a nation, we consume nearly 9 million barrels of gasoline each day," said Upton. "My back of the envelope calculation is that switching to a 10 percent blend, we will be cutting our annual gasoline consumption across the board - 900,000 barrels times 365 days equals 328,500,000 barrels saved. While I'm sure the math is not quite that simple, the actual savings are substantial - well over a billion barrels of oil saved over the next several years. This bill is a good starting point to move forward toward an even broader use of ethanol as E85 - and I am confident that as we move forward with a strong commitment from our nation's auto manufacturers, we will be seeing a lot more flex fuel vehicles which can use E85 on the road and our dependence upon foreign oil will be that much less."
E10 is a blend of 10 percent ethanol and 90 percent unleaded gasoline and it is approved for use in any make or model of vehicle sold in the U.S. It is often recommended because of its high performance, clean-burning characteristics. E10 fuel is also safe to use in small engines like motorcycles, lawn mowers, boats, personal watercraft, snowmobiles, ATVs, and many others.
Upton, co-chair of the Congressional Auto Caucus, is also a strong supporter of E85 – a fuel blend comprised of 85% ethanol and 15% unleaded gasoline, an alternative fuel for use in flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs). There are currently more than 4 million FFVs on America's roads today, and automakers are manufacturing more each year. In conjunction with more flexible fuel vehicles, additional E85 pumps are being installed throughout the country. In the event E85 is not available, flexible fuel vehicles can operate on straight gasoline or any ethanol blend up to 85%.