Alternative Fuel Bill Fails to Meet Goals

by William Yeatman on February 25, 2000

Alternative Fuel Bill Fails to Meet Goals

Replacing gasoline with alternative fuels as a major automobile fuel has been touted as a major component of any plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Indeed, Congress passed the Energy Policy Act in 1992, which requires a 10 percent reduction in the use of petroleum-based fuels by 2000 and a 30 percent reduction by 2010. The Government Accounting Office has just released a report stating that those goals will not be reached.

This is because, “Drivers find alternative fuels such as ethanol and natural gas too costly and difficult to find,” according to Reuters (February 15, 2000). The report states, “The costs for alternative vehicles are often higher because consumer demand for them is not large enough to achieve economies of scale in production.”

Reuters also notes that, “While gasoline prices are at record highs, the GAO said that even if crude oil prices reached $40 a barrel, alternative fuels share of the market for transportation fuels would not increase.”

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