For Immediate Release:            Contact: Marc Morano 202-224-5762
April 10, 2007                                
                                                               Matt Dempsey 202-224-9797

WASHINGTON, DC – James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Environment & Public Works Committee, today praised the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) finalized rule: Regulation for a Renewable Fuel Standard Program for 2007 and Beyond. The EPA’s Renewable Fuels Program (RFS program) is a result of legislation passed in 2005, co-sponsored by Senator Inhofe, then Chairman of the EPW Committee, that created a comprehensive program to increase the use of renewable fuels in the United States.   

"As the former Chairman of the EPW Committee which passed the RFS program included in the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPACT05), I am pleased to see the EPA finalize this important rule," Senator Inhofe said. "In particular, I want to applaud the administration’s efforts in balancing the interests of a diverse group of stakeholders from corn growers to petroleum refiners.

"I am hopeful that the EPA, as the sole regulatory agency over renewable fuels, considers the impacts of increased corn prices on affected industries like hog and cattle producers as well as consumers. As the current Ranking Member of the EPW Committee, which has principle jurisdiction over motor fuels policy including renewable fuels, I will continue to work with Senator Boxer to provide committee oversight of the RFS program to ensure consistent, flexible, and efficient national policy."

The Reliable Fuels Act, which was ultimately incorporated into the Energy Policy Act and signed into law in 2005, significantly expanded the renewable fuels market. The legislation 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.