WASHINGTON, DC – Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, today blasted Senate Democrats – who have previously claimed their support for cellulosic ethanol – for voting against an amendment that sought to improve the permitting process for the expansion of existing and construction of new domestic fuels facilities, including cellulosic ethanol facilities. Every Democrat present voted against the amendment.
“Many of my colleagues on the Democratic side of the aisle in the Senate have claimed to support cellulosic ethanol,” Senator Inhofe said. “Today Democrats were forced to put themselves on record – and every Democrat present voted against the amendment. Their constituents and the American people are entitled to know how they vote, rather than what they might ‘declare’ in press conferences.”
“Today the Democrats rejected an amendment that would have significantly helped reduce the price of gas at the pump -- an issue that is sure to dominate in the 2008 presidential election. Americans are paying more at the pump today because we do not have the domestic capacity to produce the fuels consumers demand. The American public is starving for affordable energy and it appears the Democrats' only answer is to tell them to go on a diet. It is imperative for the national security of this country that we increase production at home. Despite the rhetoric by some Democratic leaders about energy independence, they continue to oppose measures that would address key factors in helping America achieve that goal.”
Senator Inhofe noted in his Floor statement today that he received a letter supporting the amendment from California-based, Ceres – a leader in cellulosic technology. The letter concludes,
“we believe this effort to be good for the cellulosic biofuels industry as are your provisions to provide enhanced economic development assistance for domestic fuels facilities, including cellulosic biomass ethanol facilities.”
The amendment, Senator Inhofe’s Gas PRICE Act, was defeated in the Senate today by a vote of 43-52.