Statements and Speeches

WASHINGTON – Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del) issued the following statement for the Environment and Public Works Committee hearing, "Oversight Hearing on Domestic Renewable Rule: From Ethanol to Advanced Biofuels."  

A copy of Sen. Carper's remarks, as prepared for delivery, follows:  

"As many of you know, next week is the 41st anniversary of Earth Day, a day that is near and dear to my heart. Next week is also another anniversary – one that is far more tragic – the one-year anniversary of the BP/Deepwater Horizon oil spill. I think that today, more than ever, Americans understand the need to develop domestic sources of renewable energy, and the need for us to become energy independent.  

"Energy independence is something that we have talked about in this country for a long time. Today's hearing provides us with an opportunity to assess if we are indeed meeting some of the key time-tables and targets that were established in 2007 to put us on a path toward energy independence.  

"Appropriately named, the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 established a second phase in the Environmental Protection Agency's Renewable Fuel Standards program, which increased the demand for second generation biofuels. These new biofuels were to be cleaner in emissions and were to be made from renewable materials other than food stocks such as corn.

"I supported this effort because I believe biofuels done right are a good thing. Biofuels can give us an environmentally-friendly option to move away from foreign fossil fuels and safeguard our energy security. However, since 2007 we've not seen the increases in next generation biofuels as we had hoped. This country continues to depend on biofuels that compete with our food supply and may be impacting our air quality.  

"Many of you here have heard me say that I believe the role of government is to steer the boat, not row the boat. Today, we will be grading our driving skills to see, are we steering in the right direction toward energy independence?  

"Today, we will ask if the government is providing the right incentives to spur investment and production of the next generation of biofuels. Are we providing the certainty businesses need to invest in the new technology that we lead us to these new fuels?  

"I look forward to hearing from our witnesses to see what advances have been made and what the government could do better to help our companies develop better biofuels. I'm also interested in learning how our current renewable fuel standard has impacted all aspects of our economy and our air quality.  

"In closing, I believe the Renewable Fuels Standard must be implemented in a manner that positively impacts energy security, the environment and the economy. I look forward to working with my colleagues on this Committee to make sure this happens."