Congressman Henry A. Waxman and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse have formed a bicameral Task Force on Climate Change. This task force will be dedicated to shifting congressional and public attention to climate change and developing effective policy responses. Whitehouse and Waxman wrote a letter to numerous businesses and organizations focusing on climate change, soliciting advice on what the government can do to address climate change.
Fuels America, a coalition of organizations (including ASP) that focuses on the development of renewable fuels, responded to the letter explaining that the United States cannot continue its current dependence on oil for transportation. Oil used for transportation is the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. The Fuels America letter, suggested that one of the best things would be for the federal government to stay on track with the Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS).
According to Fuels America’s letter, in 2012, 13 billion gallons of renewable fuels have already been blended into our gasoline. This production has also created 380,000 jobs and has reduced our need for imported oil by 462 million barrels. In 2012, renewable fuels have cut carbon emissions by 33.4 million metric tons.
The RFS was created under the Energy Policy Act (EPAct) in 2005 and required that 7.5 billion gallons of renewable fuel be blended into gasoline by 2012. In 2007 under the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA), the RFS was increased to 9 billion gallons by 2008 and 36 billion by 2022. The EPA has broad authority of how to implement the RFS. In 2013, the Obama Administration and EPA want to set new Renewable Fuel Standards, including suggestions that at least 10% of the United States’ overall supply should come from renewable sources, the equivalent of 16.6 billion gallons.
America’s dependence on fossil fuels creates national security concerns – it contributes to climate change, constricts our foreign policy, and saps our economy of resources. Developing next generation biofuels will help break America’s dependence on oil by creating viable alternatives. Biofuels can come from corn, grass, algae, and various other resources.
The RFS helps biofuel industry scale up so that costs can come down. This will help create an alternative to oil. ASP hopes that when the climate task force considers policy options, it takes the Fuels America letter into account.
To read ASP’s report on biofuels click here
Below is Fuels America’s full letter to Congressman Waxman and Senator Whitehouse