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S. 1603 (112th): Open Fuels Standard Act of 2011

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.

9/22/2011--Introduced. Open Fuels Standard Act of 2011 - Requires each automobile manufacturer's annual covered inventory to comprise at least: (1) 50% fuel choice-enabling vehicles in model years 2015-2017, and (2) 80% fuel choice-enabling vehicles in model year 2018 and each subsequent model year.

Requires the Secretary of Transportation (DOT) to certify the type and blend of advanced alternative fuel blends that can be used in fuel choice-enabling vehicles, existing vehicles, and by new and existing components of the nation's transportation fueling infrastructure.

Defines "fuel choice-enabling vehicle" to mean an automobile warranted by its manufacturer to be capable of operating on: (1) an advanced alternative fuel blend, if certified for its use, or a mixture of at least 85% denatured ethanol and gasoline or drop-in fuel, if not yet certified; or (2) natural gas, hydrogen, electricity, a hybrid electric engine, a mixture biodiesel and diesel fuel, or other fuel containing not more than 10% petroleum.

Defines "advanced alternative fuel blend" as a mixture containing: (1) at least 85% (or lower percentage of) denatured alcohol as well as gasoline or drop-in fuel, (2) at least 70% menthol as well as gasoline or drop-in fuel, and (3) any other DOT-certified blend of alcohols or liquid fuels.

Authorizes a manufacturer with an inventory of less than 10,000 vehicles to request an exemption from such requirements.

Authorizes the Secretary to establish an open fuels standard credit trading program to allow vehicle manufacturers whose annual covered inventory exceeds the percentage requirements to earn credits, which may be sold to manufacturers that are unable to achieve such requirements.

Directs the Secretary to: (1) develop a model label for pumps dispensing advanced alternative fuels to help consumers evaluate the expected automobile performance of a fuel blend, and (2) make it available for voluntary reproduction and adoption.

Directs the Secretary to evaluate the need for standardized fueling equipment and facilities that: (1) dispense advance alternative fuel blends to fuel choice-enabling vehicles, and (2) prevent the dispensing of such fuel blends to incompatible vehicles.