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INHOFE INTRODUCES PRESIDENT BUSH’S “ALTERNATIVE FUEL STANDARD ACT OF 2007”
April 19, 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE        CONTACT: MARC MORANO 202-224-5762
April 19, 2007                                                       marc_morano@epw.senate.gov
                                                                              MATT DEMPSEY (202) 224-9797
                                                                              matthew_dempsey@epw.senate.gov
 
INHOFE INTRODUCES PRESIDENT BUSH’S “ALTERNATIVE FUEL STANDARD ACT OF 2007”
 
 
Washington, D.C.-Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Committee on Environment and Public Works, introduced today President Bush’s “Alternative Fuel Standard Act of 2007.” The President’s proposal seeks to replace the current Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) by requiring 10 billion gallons of alternative fuel to be used in 2010 and increasing to 35 billion gallons by 2018.  The bill similarly builds upon the current RFS by requiring Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to incorporate the newer qualifying fuels into the credit trading system. The bill amends the Clean Air Act’s existing renewable fuels standard by diversifying the types of qualifying fuels and increasing the volumes.  Qualifying alternative fuels will be expanded to include fuels derived from gas and coal, and hydrogen, among others.
 
“Although I may have some questions with the particulars of the President’s plan, he and I share the common goal of increasing domestic energy security without compromising environmental quality,” Senator Inhofe said. “As the committee of principal jurisdiction, the Committee on Environment and Public Works has a long history of moving fuels legislation.  While chairman of the EPW Committee, I successfully discharged legislation that served as the historic fuels title to the comprehensive energy bill.  That renewable fuels plan was the product of years of hearings, negotiation, and debate.  The President’s initiative deserves the same attention.
 
“Cellulosic biomass ethanol is a promising technology that could significantly increase fuel supplies without compromising the food and feed prices.  I am proud to say that some of the foremost research in the field is being done in my own state of Oklahoma, including a team at the Noble Foundation.  Their work is engineering high energy and perennial crops that can be grown across the country.
 
“I have been seeking to increase U.S. energy security for years.  I am glad that the President has stepped up and taken this issue head-on.  The proposal deserves careful and proper consideration.  The American people require as much.  I look forward to working with my colleagues to improve U.S. domestic energy security while fully considering public health and welfare.”
 
The Reliable Fuels Act, which was ultimately incorporated into the Energy Policy Act (EPACT05) and signed into law in 2005, significantly expanded the renewable fuels market. The Reliable Fuels Act also authorized loan guarantees for the commercial development of cellulosic ethanol facilities and thereby encouraged greater research in cultivating bio-energy crops. The EPW Committee has held at least 13 hearings on the RFS program, most recently an oversight hearing in September 2006 which highlighted the implementation of this historic new federal RFS program.
 
 
STATEMENT BY SEN. JAMES INHOFE ON THE INTRODUCTION OF
THE ALTERNATIVE FUEL STANDARD ACT OF 2007
APRIL 19, 2007
 
I rise today to introduce the Alternative Fuel Standard Act.  The bill that I am introducing today reflects the President’s draft legislation to which he referred in his State of the Union. 
 
Although I may have some questions with the particulars of the President’s plan, he and I share the common goal of increasing domestic energy security without compromising environmental quality.
 
As the committee of principal jurisdiction, the Committee on Environment and Public Works has a long history of moving fuels legislation.  While chairman, I successfully discharged legislation that served as the historic fuels title to the comprehensive energy bill.  That renewable fuels plan was the product of years of hearings, negotiation, and debate.  The President’s initiative deserves the same amount of attention.
 
According to a Labor Department report this month, most of the country’s inflation can be directly attributed to higher gas prices.  The USDA’s Economic Research Service concluded that high gas prices will increase food costs in 2007; the Service noted that the food consumer price index increased at an annual rate of 2.3 percent in 2006 and will increase 2.5 percent to 3.5 percent. 
 
The Energy Information Administration’s April 2007 Outlook noted that the higher prices are due to continued international tensions, the conversion to summer blends, and unanticipated refinery problems. 
 
AAA found that the average national price for gasoline is $2.87 up from $2.55 just a month earlier.  Yet those national high prices seem low compared to California.  AAA of Northern California noted that the average price for gasoline is $3.41 in Oakland, $3.53 in San Francisco, and averages $3.34 statewide.   
 
The bottom line – supply source instability and inadequate domestic infrastructure have and will continue to contribute to high prices and inflation unless Congress does something about it.  The President’s ambitious proposal seeks to alleviate those concerns by sourcing new supply domestically.
 
The proposal that I am introducing would amend the Clean Air Act’s existing renewable fuels standard by diversifying the types of qualifying fuels and increasing the volumes.  Qualifying alternative fuels will be expanded to include fuels derived from gas and coal, and hydrogen, among others.
 
Cellulosic biomass ethanol is a promising technology that could significantly increase fuel supplies without compromising the food and feed prices.  I am proud to say that some of the foremost research in the field is being done in my own state of Oklahoma, including a team at the Noble Foundation.  Their work is engineering high energy and perennial crops that can be grown across the country.
 
Similarly, coal-to-liquids fuels could be the greatest domestic energy resource of all time.  I have been promoting the technology for years, particularly for defense aircraft, but now is the time to expand this super clean fuel for use across America.
 
The plan would replace the current RFS by requiring 10 billion gallons of alternative fuel to be used in 2010 and increasing to 35 billion gallons by 2018.  The bill similarly builds upon the current RFS by requiring EPA to incorporate the newer qualifying fuels into the credit trading system.
 
I have been seeking to increase U.S. energy security for years.  I am glad that the President has stepped up and taken this issue head-on.  The proposal deserves careful and proper consideration.  The American people require as much.  I look forward to working with my colleagues to improve U.S. domestic energy security while fully considering public health and welfare.
 
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April 2007 Press Releases

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