Subcommittee Continues Oversight of Renewable Fuel Standard

July 24, 2013

WASHINGTON, DC – The Subcommittee on Energy and Power today wrapped up its two-day hearing on “Overview of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS): Stakeholder Perspectives.” The hearing continued the committee’s bipartisan oversight of the RFS, following the release of a series of bipartisan white papers and a previous subcommittee hearing examining government implementation of the statute. The committee heard from 16 different stakeholder witnesses who offered varying perspectives on the current law.  

The members heard testimony from three panels of witnesses representing fuel users, developers, and representatives from the agricultural and environmental communities. Panelists discusses a range of topics, including the Renewable Fuel Standard’s potential effect on fuel and food prices, blend wall and compatibility issues, and impacts on the nation’s agricultural sector and the environment.

The RFS was last revised in 2007, and in the years since the nation’s energy landscape has transformed dramatically. As a result of these changes in the nation’s energy mix and other unforeseen circumstances, several implementation challenges have emerged. In some respects, the RFS has unfolded as expected, but in others it has not. Committee leaders expressed a commitment to working toward addressing these challenges.

Chairman Whitfield said, “Many businesses and many jobs are at stake - from corn farmer to refinery worker to gas station employee to lawnmower maker to ethanol plant worker. And, just as important, the interests of consumers are directly impacted by the RFS. The end goal of this process is an RFS that works as best as possible for everyone.”

Full committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) added, “In my view, the current system cannot stand. I hope we can start a discussion that considers a host of potential modifications and updates to the RFS, with the end goal being a system that works best for the American people. I am absolutely committed to ensuring we deliver workable reforms.”