The House Energy and Commerce Committee passed legislation to create a grant program for independent businesses to purchase equipment for E-85 gas pumps and other alternative fuel infrastructure. The legislation is designed to expand E-85 pumps across the U.S. Independent businesses could receive a $30,000 grant to install E-85 pumps, while large integrated oil companies would be prohibited from participating in the program.

Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI), sponsor of the legislation, says, "With the number of American-made flex-fuel cars on the road nearing six million, we need to move our distribution system for E-85 ethanol into high gear. U.S. autoworkers are building the cars needed to help us cure our addiction to foreign oil, but we don't have good access to a fully functioning distribution system for the renewable fuels made from products grown in Michigan and other states."

The legislation is expected to be considered by the full House next week.
-- P. Scott Shearer, Washington, D.C., correspondent