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Statement by U.S. Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman on EPA's Renewable Fuel Standard Waiver Announcement

August 7, 2008 - 2:40pm


WASHINGTON -- The following is a statement from U.S. Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman in response to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) announcement on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) Waiver Request:

"Clean, green, domestic, sustainable biofuels that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase our energy security are a crucial part of America's energy policy. Advanced biofuels are just one part of a diverse portfolio of renewable energy and efficiency technologies that the Department of Energy is pursuing.

"Last year, the President proposed and Congress passed the most aggressive alternative fuel and vehicle efficiency standards ever considered. Biofuels presently blended into our fuel supply are one of the only forces applying downward pressure on the price of gasoline.

"DOE is pleased that the process laid out in statute has been effectively administered and appreciate the diligence of our colleagues at EPA in making this determination. We are pursuing plug in hybrid vehicles, advanced vehicle technologies, advanced cellulosic biofuels from non-food sources, cleaner, more efficient combustion engines, and over the longer term, hydrogen fuel cells to help change the way we fuel our vehicles.

"Looking toward the future, we must have a diverse array of cost competitive technologies and sources to overcome our addiction to oil in a time frame that is consequential, and biofuels constitute a prominent - but not an exclusive - promising pathway."

Under the statute, EPA makes the determination in consultation with Department of Energy (DOE) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. DOE and its National Laboratories provided significant technical analysis and support to the EPA during this process.

In June, DOE announced an estimate that gasoline prices would be between 20 cents to 35 cents per gallon higher without ethanol, a first-generation biofuel. Also, without biofuels, DOE estimates that the U.S. would have to use 7.2 billion more gallons of gasoline in 2008 in order to maintain current levels of travel, a 5 percent increase.

Since 2007 DOE has dedicated more than $1 billion in non-food based, sustainable, and cost competitive second-generation cellulosic biofuels research and demonstration. The Bush Administration is committed to continually monitoring the situation and is open to considering all policy options with respect to biofuels moving forward.

Media contact(s):

Jennifer Scoggins, (202) 586-4940