EPW Hearing Statement: Oversight of the Renewable Fuel Standard

WASHINGTON – Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), a top Democrat on the Environment and Public Works Committee and ranking member of the Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety, released the following statement regarding the committee’s hearing, “Oversight of the Renewable Fuel Standard.”

“There’s no question that encouraging investment in and the consumption of alternative transportation fuels is smart policy. That’s why Congress passed a bipartisan energy bill in 2007 to enhance our nation’s energy security by reducing our dependence on foreign oil while curbing harmful carbon emissions into our air. That law amended the Clean Air Act to greatly enhance the Renewable Fuel Standard by increasing the domestic biofuel mandate to 36 billion gallons by 2022. By ramping up the Renewable Fuel Standard, Congress aimed to increase the market demand for second generation biofuels, and set an ambitious goal to move our country into a clean energy future.

“In order to keep us on the path toward a brighter, greener energy future, it’s important for this country to continue to invest in biofuels – especially in advanced biofuels. The Renewable Fuel Standard is a critical policy tool to keep these investments flowing. Biofuels done right is crucial to our energy security, but we cannot ignore the difficulties created by an unexpected drop in transportation fuel consumption and slower than expected growth in advanced biofuels production.

“While I have long supported the goals of Renewable Fuel Standard – incentivizing environmentally-friendly options that move our country away from foreign fossil fuels – we’ve got to do our due diligence to ensure that this mandate is meeting Congress’ original intention in an efficient and transparent way that positively impacts energy security, the environment and the economy.

“Supporting investments in the next generation of renewable fuels while still protecting our environment and economy is no small feat, but it can be achieved. I look forward to today’s discussion to see how we can improve this program and strike that balance.”