RFA Testifies at Low Carbon, Clean Fuels Hearing

Cindy Zimmerman

The Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee held a hearing Wednesday on “The Future of Low Carbon Transportation Fuels and Considerations for a National Clean Fuels Program.”

Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Geoff Cooper testified at the hearing, stressing that implementing a national clean fuel program that incorporates a market-based, technology-neutral approach will be critical to decarbonizing the U.S. transportation sector.

“While policies such as the Renewable Fuel Standard, the Inflation Reduction Act, and light-duty vehicle fuel economy and tailpipe standards will play a vital role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from transportation, other complementary solutions will also be required to truly decarbonize the sector by mid-century,” said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper. “If properly structured, a national Clean Fuel Program (sometimes called a Low Carbon Fuel Standard or Clean Fuel Standard) offers the best potential to rapidly accelerate the decarbonization of the transportation sector, while simultaneously enhancing energy security, creating jobs, and reducing tailpipe emissions of pollutants linked to poor air quality and human health challenges.”

Cooper noted that RFA member companies have committed to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 or sooner and a workable pathway has been developed toward that goal. However, he says such a goal requires policies that align with it, including:

-fairness and consistency in how the carbon footprint of different fuels and vehicles is measured;
-removal of unnecessary regulatory barriers that are blocking the use of fuel blends that contain higher levels of ethanol, such as 15 percent ethanol blends (E15);
-continued investment in storage and distribution infrastructure for higher ethanol blends like E15 and flex fuels like E85;
-implementation of strong Renewable Fuel Standard volume requirements in 2023 and beyond;
-equitable incentives for the production of flex-fuel vehicles that can operate on fuels containing up to 85 percent ethanol; and
-a well-structured nationwide clean fuels policy.

Read Cooper’s written testimony and listen to his remarks below.
RFA CEO Geoff Cooper, Senate EPW hearing (4:28)

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