Summary: S.1518 — 100th Congress (1987-1988)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Conference report filed in House (09/16/1988)

(Conference report filed in House, H. Rept. 100-929)

Alternative Motor Fuels Act of 1988 - Amends the Energy Policy and Conservation Act to direct the Secretary of Energy to ensure that beginning in FY 1990 the maximum practicable number of Federal passenger automobiles and light duty trucks be: (1) alcohol-powered vehicles; (2) dual energy vehicles; (3) natural gas-powered vehicles; or (4) natural gas dual energy vehicles. Directs the Secretary to conduct a study regarding such vehicles' performance, fuel economy, safety, and maintenance costs.

Directs the Secretary to report to the Congress the results of a feasibility study concerning the disposal of such alternative-fueled Federal vehicles.

Provides for alcohol fuel to be made available to the public at locations where the Federal vehicles are fueled. States that appropriations for Federal vehicle acquisition shall apply only to that portion of the cost of alcohol-powered (or dual energy) vehicles which exceeds the cost of comparable conventional fueled vehicles.

Provides that: (1) such vehicles shall not be counted in any average fuel economy calculation of the Federal passenger automobile fleet acquired in any fiscal year; and (2) the incremental cost of such vehicles over the cost of comparable conventional fueled vehicles shall not be applied to any calculation regarding the maximum cost of individual Federal vehicles. Authorizes appropriations for FY 1990 through 1993 for such alternative-fueled vehicles.

Requires the Secretary to establish a commercial application program to study alcohol and natural gas fuel use in heavy duty trucks. Authorizes appropriations for such program for FY 1990 through 1992.

Directs the Secretary (in cooperation with Federal agencies regulating motor vehicles for safety and environmental purposes) to assist State and local governmental agencies in testing the environmental and safety aspects of alcohol and natural-gas powered buses in urban settings. Authorizes appropriations for FY 1990 through 1992.

Establishes the Interagency Commission on Alternative Motor Fuels to develop and coordinate efforts to implement a national alternative motor fuels policy. Requires the Commission chairperson to establish a United States Alternative Fuels Council to report to the Commission about alternative motor fuels matters. Requires the Commission to submit interim reports to the Congress and a final report no later than September 30, 1992. Terminates the Commission and the Council upon submission of its final report.

Directs the Secretary to study and report to the Congress regarding the cost and practicability of methanol plants.

Requires the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to submit to specified congressional committees biennial reports on a comprehensive analysis of the air quality, global climate change, and other environmental impacts associated with the use of alternative motor fuels under this Act. Requires the reports to include extended reasonable forecasts of environmental effects. Authorizes appropriations.

Precludes the voiding of any guaranty or warranty with respect to any federally acquired passenger automobile or light-duty truck after October 1, 1989, on the grounds that such vehicle is operated with nonstandard fuels.

Amends the Motor Vehicle Information and Cost Savings Act to set forth fuel efficiency standards for: (1) alcohol-powered automobiles; (2) dual energy automobiles; (3) natural gas-powered automobiles; and (4) natural gas dual energy automobiles.

Prescribes guidelines for calculation of the fuel economy of alternative-fueled vehicles at increasing rates for model years 1993 through 2004. Expands the definition of "automobile" to include vehicles powered by alcohol or natural gas.

Requires the Secretary of Transportation to report to the Congress the results of a study regarding the need to promulgate additional or amended regulations to stimulate the introduction of electric vehicles into commerce.

Sets forth fuel economy labeling guidelines for alcohol or natural gas powered automobiles, and dual energy or natural gas dual energy automobiles.

Requires the Secretary of Energy to report to certain congressional committees on whether the fuel economy prescriptions and the amendments made by this Act are likely to increase residential energy costs significantly.