Environmental Protection Agency Oversight: Implementing the Renewable Fuel Standard

Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety

WASHINGTON – Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) today stressed the importance of the United States developing advanced biofuels to lower food and fuel prices, reduce harmful emissions and reduce our dangerous dependence on foreign oil.

At today’s hearing of his Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety, Chairman Carper said that in light of growing gas prices, there are a number of things the government can do to help reduce Americans’ energy costs, as well as provide energy security.

“First, we must encourage oil and gas companies to drill for oil on the 68 million acres of land that federal government has already authorized. Second, oil produced in the United States should stay in the United States to be sold to Americans, not shipped overseas. And finally, we should use profits earned from drilling to invest in renewable energy sources and other advanced, renewable fuel technologies that will keep our air clean and our country safe, as well as help get fuel costs under control,” said Sen. Carper, who called the hearing to begin congressional oversight of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Renewable Fuel Standard.”

Concerning the development of renewable fuels, the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 mandates that by 2022, 21 billion gallons of the fuel used in America must be biodiesel, cellulosic and other advanced fuels. In addition, the legislation required the EPA conduct a full ‘life-cycle analysis’ to determine the environmental and economic impact of biofuels.

Sen. Carper asked expert environmental and business witnesses to give an update on the life-cycle analysis, as well as discuss advancement in biofuel technology, including the DuPont company based in Wilmington, Delaware, which is developing cellulosic biofuels and biobutanol.

“We must make certain that renewable fuels, while lowering our dependency on foreign oil, do not have an adverse impact on the environment, and that when implemented, the Renewable Fuel Standard has a positive impact on our economy,” said Sen. Carper.

“While renewable fuels may have some impact on food prices, there are many other causes for high food prices, including increased world-wide demand and the impact of droughts and natural disasters on farms.  In the end, the federal government must remain strong in our commitment to creating and using the next generation of renewable fuels, and continue to invest in clean, affordable, domestic sources of energy.”