Resolution on Alternative Fuels Exposed

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The Resolution on Alternative Fuels is listed under ALEC's Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force and was included in the 1995 ALEC Sourcebook of American State Legislation. A nearly identical version of this Resolution is available on ALEC's website, it was approved by the Board of Directors in 1995, re-approved on January 28, 2013. The policy statement that is omitted from the resolution provided by is indicated with strikethrough text. (Accessed on 7/30/2015).

ALEC Bill Text


ALEC’s model resolution on alternative fuels opposes the use of command and control type mechanisms to encourage alternative fuel use.

Model Resolution

WHEREAS, Approximately 180 million vehicles are on the road using nearly 300 million gallons of fuel a day of which gasoline and diesel representing ninety-eight percent of daily fuel usage; and

WHEREAS, The National Energy Policy Act and the 1990 Amendments to the Clean Air Act require states to undertake a number of steps to reduce vehicle-related pollution and increase energy security and bring themselves in compliance with federal law; and

WHEREAS, Such steps include a switch including but not limited to alternative fuels such as compressed natural gas (CNG) electricity, ethanol, hydrogen, methanol, propane (LPG) and reformulated gasoline; and

WHEREAS, Alternative fuels has a role in meeting our nation’s air quality goals but its success depends on its ease of conversion, cost to consumers and resulting air quality benefits; and

WHEREAS, Mandates for specific alternative fuels can be very expensive and often fail to deliver the promised environmental and energy security benefits; and

WHEREAS, Fuel mandates are often based on political considerations, benefiting one industry or one company at society’s expense; and

WHEREAS, Government mandates effectively shut the door on research and development that could lead to options for fuels that are environmentally and economically superior; and

WHEREAS, The free market, not government mandates, works best in producing environmentally responsible, affordable conventional and alternative fuels; and

WHEREAS, mandates for alternative fuels that already are heavily subsidized impose a heavy cost on the economy; and

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, That government should not mandate the use of specific alternative fuels. It should instead set reasonable environmental performance standards, and let the market determine which fuels can best meet the standards at the lowest cost and greatest convenience to consumers; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That fuels meeting these standards should rise or fall on their ability to compete in the marketplace; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That copies of this resolution be transmitted to all ALEC members.


The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) resolves that government should not mandate what type of motor vehicle or fuel is best. Instead, it should set reasonable emission performance standards and allow the private sector flexibility to develop vehicles and fuels which will meet these standards at an acceptable cost and with satisfactory vehicle performance. ALEC believes that any alternative fuel used should be environmentally cleaner than the fossil fuel that it will replace. There are concerns currently with the production of formaldehyde emissions from methanol fuels, and ALEC strongly feels that these environmental concerns should be folly studied.

ALEC believes that the use of alternative motor vehicle fuels such as propane, compressed natural gas, methanol, ethanol, and reformulated gasoline has potential to help reduce air pollution in our nation’s cities. But selecting a fuel and vehicle for widespread use now could unnecessarily foreclose other approaches with potential to satisfy air quality goals at less cost and inconvenience to motorists.

Government should support this process by encouraging alternative fuel vehicle development and demonstration programs through tax incentives, grants, and other similar means. At the same time, the government should encourage efforts to improve emission controls on vehicles using gasoline and diesel fuel through advanced engine design, improved emission control systems, and fuel properties which enhance emission control.

Through such testing, the advantages and disadvantages of all alternative fuels and vehicles would become clearer, and a sound decision would be made that would best serve both the environment and the consumer.