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WASHINGTON, D.C. -- If Congress is serious about convenience stores and gas stations selling alternative fuels, it must work now to pass H.R. 4345, otherwise known as the Domestic Fuels Protection Act of 2012, said Joseph Petrowski, CEO of The Cumberland Gulf Group.
In a testimony given this morning before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Subcommittee on Energy and Power, Petrowski said that many gasoline stations have yet to begin offering alternative fuels due to several reasons, such as retailers' liability and compatibility concerns, as well as state and local restrictions.
However, the CEO, speaking on behalf of the Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers Association (SIGMA) and NACS, said H.R. 4345 -- currently before the subcommittee on Environment and the Economy -- would alleviate three obstacles.
"Congress can do something immediately to mitigate other obstacles preventing new fuels from entering the market," Petrowski said this morning. "H.R. 4345 ... addresses three of these obstacles: infrastructure compatibility, liability for consumer misuse of fuels, and retroactive liability of the rules governing a fuel change in the future."
Petrowski added the goal is to give retailers a choice in what fuels they sell. "Our sole objective is to sell what our customers want to buy and, as new fuels enter the market, we want to be able to sell them lawfully and with minimal volatility and risk," he said.
Cumberland Gulf's CEO continued that neither SIGMA nor NACS holds a position on fuel itself, but has one bias: "We believe it is best for the American consumer to and our industrial position in the world marketplace to have reasonably low and stable priced energy," said Petrowski. "This can best be accomplished by focusing on developing diverse fuel sources from at the least secure, friendly regions and at best domestic sources for optimal results."
Petrowski did recognize that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently authorized the use of E15 in certain vehicles. However, the CEO said it has "so far done very little to expand the use of renewable fuels."
He also stressed that H.R. 4345 is not an E15 bill. Instead, it applies to any new fuel formulations or additives approved and registered by the EPA.
"H.R. 4345 is designed to facilitate the introduction of all innovative new fuels," Petrowski noted.