General Wesley K. Clark (Ret.), co-chair of Growth Energy’s Board of Directors testified on the numerous benefits of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee today. One of his messages is that a reduction in the renewable fuel volume requirements of the RFS will move the biofuel industry backwards.
“My message to the Committee is this: the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is an overwhelming success. It has reduced our dependence on foreign oil and made our nation more energy independent, created American jobs, revitalized rural America, injected much-needed competition into a monopolized vehicle-fuels market, lowered the price at the pump, and improved the environment. That is a great record of accomplishment – one that I would call a brilliant success. It is wise policy, and a tribute to its bipartisan passage.”
During his remarks, General Clark noted that the RFS has provided, “real, tangible results that benefit every American today. But if some had their way, we’d throw all of this progress away so the incumbents can shut out competition and maintain their stranglehold on the wallets of American drivers so that Americans will never escape the burden of imported oil and imported, monopolistic fuel pricing.”
Clark is a retired four star general and an expert on issues of national security. He attempted to impress on the committee, “The U.S. continues to be extremely vulnerable to shocks in the oil supply and price disruptions –from both foreign supply and the domestic supply chain. During the last decade, the price of oil has nearly quadrupled, going from roughly $25 per barrel in 2001 to nearly $100 per barrel today; that price disruption has had a significant impact on American consumers and the American economy, with the price of gasoline rising from $1.09 per gallon in 2001 to roughly $3.25 per gallon today.” General Clark will also explain that the U.S continues to spend billions each year to protect oil supply routes in the Middle East, which could be dramatically reduced with the increased use of homegrown American fuel.
In response to the EPA’s proposed rule, General Clark pointed out that, “The EPA proposal sets us back on the path to fulfillment, will chill investment in biofuels, rewards deliberate and willful resistance to the law, and will encourage further and more intensive efforts to gut RFS in the years ahead. It would cause severe harm to farmers, the biofuels industry, and the nation’s economy. This proposal is already creating great uncertainty for farmers and other industry investors.”
He concluded, “The RFS is a policy that is working…The bottom line is that this is a policy that benefits all Americas…and we can no longer afford to be 90 percent dependent on fossil fuels.”