The ethanol industry called for requirements that all vehicles sold in the United States accept the renewable gasoline substitute as part of a push to slow global warming and provide jobs at home.
A low-carbon fuel standard, which would spur use of alternative fuels, more ethanol pumping stations and construction of biofuel pipelines would also help wean the country from gasoline, Growth Energy, the ethanol industry trade group said in a biofuels roadmap ahead of a renewable energy meeting in Las Vegas on Monday.
Ethanol is an alcohol-based motor fuel that can be made from all crops including corn and sugar cane. The next generation in development, cellulosic ethanol, is made from non-food sources like switchgrass.
This road map is a guide to speed up the commercialization of cellulosic ethanol, which is almost 90 percent better for the environment than gasoline. If we act on this road map today, we can more than double the number of biofuels jobs to 1.3 million, Growth Energy Co-Chair Wesley Clark said in the statement ahead of the conference hosted by Senator Harry Reid.
Most U.S. ethanol is made from corn, but the government aims to blend 100 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol into the gasoline pool in 2010.
Cars would need special hoses and other minor equipment changes to handle higher blends of ethanol. Such so-called Flex-fuel vehicles are common in Brazil, which is heavily dependent on ethanol it makes from sugar cane.
(Reporting by Peter Henderson, Editing Carol Bishopric)