Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed House amended (10/07/1986)

(Measure passed House, amended)

Methanol Energy Policy Act of 1986 - Amends the Energy Policy and Conservation Act to direct the Secretary of Energy (the Secretary) to: (1) ensure that of the total number of passenger automobiles and light duty trucks acquired for Federal use during FY 1989 through 1992, at least 5,000 shall be methanol-powered vehicles; and (2) conduct studies related to methanol-powered vehicles in cooperation with the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (the Administrator). Sets guidelines for such studies.

Requires that methanol be offered for sale to the public at locations where Federal vehicles are supplied with methanol, but only until methanol is commercially available in the vicinity of such locations. Terminates such requirement after September 30, 1992.

Requires the Secretary to provide methanol-powered vehicles to any requesting Federal agency. States that the funds appropriated under the Federal methanol-fueled vehicle program shall only be applicable to the portion of such vehicles' cost which exceeds the cost of comparable gasoline-powered vehicles. Requires such agencies to cooperate with the Secretary in studies about such vehicles.

Requires the Secretary to report to the Congress regarding the Federal use of methanol-powered vehicles.

Exempts such vehicles from: (1) any calculation of the average fuel economy of the passenger automobile fleet acquired in a fiscal year by the United States; and (2) any calculation with respect to a limitation on the maximum cost of individual vehicles obtained by the United States.

Authorizes appropriations for FY 1989 through FY 1992.

Directs the Secretary to: (1) establish a demonstration program for the operation of methanol-fueled diesel trucks; and (2) report to the Congress regarding such program. Authorizes appropriations for such program for FY 1988 through FY 1991.

Requires the Administrator to: (1) purchase a minimum of five methanol-powered buses during FY 1988 for use in urban settings to determine emissions and fuel economy tests; and (2) report to the Congress regarding such tests. Authorizes appropriations for FY 1988 through FY 1991.

Requires any State which receives Federal mass transportation assistance after January 1, 1991, for the acquisition of motor vehicles transporting 30 or more persons in a nonattainment area to acquire methanol-powered or compressed natural-gas buses with such assistance.

Directs the Secretary to provide such States with supplemental grants to cover the amount by which methanol-powered buses (or compressed natural gas buses) exceed the costs of comparable diesel-powered buses. Authorizes appropriations for FY 1991 through FY 1993.

Requires the Secretary to: (1) undertake a methanol fuel use program in more than one oil-fired stationary power generation facility; and (2) study and report the results of such program to the Congress.

Establishes the Interagency Commission on Methanol to develop and coordinate implementation of a national methanol energy policy. Requires the Commission to: (1) perform various studies with respect to the production, use, and promotion of methanol as a fuel; (2) develop a plan for the commercialization of methanol; (3) develop a public-awareness program on methanol as a transportation fuel; (4) coordinate Federal efforts with respect to methanol research and commercialization; and (5) ensure communication between Federal agencies involved in methanol demonstration projects and establish an information clearinghouse for parties working with or interested in methanol and related projects. Requires the Chairman of the Commission to establish a private sector advisory panel to inform the Commission about methanol-related matters. Sets forth reporting requirements which apply to the Commission. Terminates the Commission upon the submission of its last report.

Directs the Secretary to report to the Congress regarding a study of the comparative costs of methanol based on natural gas, coal, and other resources. Sets guidelines for such study.

Directs the Administrator to prepare a comprehensive air quality and health study regarding specified aspects of methanol as a transportation fuel compared to existing gasoline and diesel fuels. Authorizes appropriations for both studies.

Requires all passenger automobiles and light-duty trucks acquired by the United States after October 1, 1987, to be suitable for operation on all fuels for which Environmental Protection Agency waivers are in effect.