Note: Synopsis based on review of draft legislation as well as media summaries. Synopsis intended solely for purposes of generating discussion.

Key provisions of H.R. 1687, the Open Fuel Standard Act of 2011 (as of May 5, 2011)

  • Would require defined percentages of light-duty automobile manufacturer’s inventory to operate on nonpetroleum fuels in addition to, or instead of, petroleum-based fuels along the following timetables
    • 50% of new vehicles in 2014
    • 80% of new vehicles in 2016
    • 95% of new vehicles in 2017 and each subsequent year
  • Qualified vehicles would include passenger automobiles and light-duty motor vehicles which:
    • operate solely on natural gas, hydrogen, or biodiesel (diesel fuel which has been produced from a non-petroleum feedstock and which meets the standards of ASTM D6751-03);
    • are flexible fuel vehicles (a vehicle that has been warranted by its manufacturer to operate on gasoline, E85, and M85);
    • are plug-in electric drive vehicles (as defined in section 508(a)(5) of the Energy Policy Act of 1992 (42 U.S.C. 13258(a)(5)));
    • are propelled solely by a fuel cell that produces power without the use of petroleum or a petroleum-based fuel;
    • are propelled solely by something other than an internal combustion engine, and produces power without the use of petroleum or a petroleum-based fuel
  • Would allow manufacturers to request an exemption from the Secretary of Transportation to account for unavoidable events outside the manufacturer’s control