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Inhofe Floor Remarks on Bringing Down Energy Prices
Senator Inhofe continued to speak out this week, both on the radio and on the Senate Floor, on a common sense approach to bring down the costs of energy – at the gas pump, at the grocery store, and in our homes. In remarks on the Senate Floor on Thursday, May 8, 2008– which can be viewed on You Tube by clicking here – Senator Inhofe made the following points:
Part Two of Inhofe Floor Statement
-Rather than raise taxes, block production, increase regulations, and call for investigations, I joined with other colleagues last week introducing the Domestic Energy Production Act of 2008.
-The bill includes provisions of my Gas PRICE Act which is legislation to improve the permitting process for the expansion of existing and construction of new refineries and establish a 360-day deadline for the approval or disapproval of consolidated permit applications for new refineries and a 120-day deadline for permits to expand an existing refinery.
-The bill will also increase domestic energy by encouraging environmentally sensible drilling in ANWR. It also allows individual states to decide if drilling should be permitted in their offshore waters.
-The bill also includes my legislation to repeal Section 526 of the 2007 energy bill which prohibits federal agencies from purchasing fuels from nonconventional sources, which includes petroleum from tar sands in Canada and coal-to-liquid and natural gas-to-liquid fuels. We need to repeal this section, allow imports from stable regions of the world like Canada, and not prohibit the U.S. military fueling options.
-One of the issues receiving considerable attention now in Washington, DC is the mandate for corn-based ethanol.
-The 2007 Energy Bill, which I voted against, mandated 36 billion gallons of bio-fuels by 2022. Of this, 15 billion gallons are required from corn based ethanol alone by 2015. The 2007 energy bill contained an increase in the renewable fuels standard (RFS) from 7.5 to 15 billion gallons of corn ethanol alone.
-We are experiencing global food difficulties brought on by wrongheaded environment and energy policies, resulting in decreases in worldwide food availability and increases in food prices. Just a few days ago, I delivered a major speech calling for “dramatic” action to address global food difficulties caused in part by current biofuel mandates. In the speech, I called for two actions to relieve the effects from the current corn ethanol mandate:
-Congress must revisit the recently enacted ethanol mandate, which can only be described as the most expansive mandate in our nation’s history. The mandates were part of last year’s Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.
1) EPA has the congressionally-given authority to waive all or portions of these food-to-fuel mandates as part of its rule-making process.
2) The EPA must thoroughly review all options to alleviate the food and fuel disruption of the 2007 Energy Bill ethanol mandates.
Following my speech, on Friday, May 2, 2008, I joined several Senate Republicans in sending a letter to Stephen Johnson, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), asking the EPA to exercise its waiver authority regarding the biofuel mandate. I am encouraged to see a growing number of Senators speaking out on the need to address this very important issue.