Statements and Speeches

WASHINGTON – Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety, and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Chairman of the Committee on Environment and Public Works, convened the joint hearing, "Oversight Hearing on Domestic Renewable Fuels."

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

“In 2007, our nation’s energy future did not look good. Consumption of gasoline and diesel was expected to grow exponentially and feeding this growth was oil from other nations – many of which didn’t like us very much. 

“That’s why in 2007, Congress took several steps to try to change our energy future. For example, Congress increased the fuel efficiency standards for cars, trucks and vans for the first time in 32 years. As someone who worked very hard with Senators Feinstein and Stevens to help us find an agreement, I am very proud of this achievement.  I know our efforts laid the groundwork for future efficiency increases by the Administration.

“In 2007, Congress also amended the Clean Air Act by more than doubling the domestic biofuel mandate to 36 billion gallons by 2022.  We included new incentives for advanced fuels that were better for the environment and were not derived from the food we eat or the food our chickens and cattle eat. Since 2007, we have seen a change in the energy trend lines – and our energy future looks better than it has in decades.  

“Today, for the first time in two decades we are producing more oil than we are importing. That’s because production at home has increased, consumption has gone down and biofuel use has increased – replacing oil-based fuels. And finally today, we are seeing the first commercial scale advanced biofuel facilities being built – providing an alternative to traditional corn ethanol.

“To keep us on the path toward a brighter, greener energy future, I believe it is important for this country to continue to invest in biofuels – especially in advanced biofuels. I believe the Renewable Fuel Standard is a crucial policy tool to keep these investments flowing. Biofuels done right is crucial to our energy security, but we cannot ignore the unintended consequences of increasing our biofuel mandates.

“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 strike that balance. 

“And on that note, I look forward to having an open and thoughtful dialogue with our witnesses and colleagues today.”