Speeches By EPA Administrator
Administrator Johnson, Renewable Fuel Standard Proposal Announcement, Mead, NE09/08/2006
I especially want to thank Governor Dave Heineman for joining us. The Governor has been a leader on environmental issues for the great state of Nebraska, and has been instrumental in helping our nation meet President Bush’s energy goals.
Today, we are launching an initiative that strengthens our nation’s energy security, supports American farming communities, and helps protect the environment. And it’s no coincidence we are making this announcement here in your state.
For years, Nebraska’s rolling cornfields have filled America’s breadbaskets. Now, by helping meet the President’s renewable energy goals, these same fields are filling America’s gas tanks.
Today’s announcement of the nation’s first comprehensive renewable fuel standard – or RFS program – guarantees that the use of renewable fuels produced from crops of Nebraska, and from throughout America, will double in just over five years.
Just think about that. Five years ago, I doubt too many people looked at a soybean or a kernel of corn and saw its potential for powering their car. But by the year 2012, 7.5 billion gallons of fuel being pumped into gas-tanks across the country will be made from homegrown, renewable resources.
President Bush believes that our country is on the verge of dramatic change for how we power our cars, our homes, and our businesses. And now, instead of just producing food for our dinner tables, the agriculture community is producing solutions that are good for our nation’s energy security.
President Bush set a clear goal in his State of the Union Address last January when he announced a new national investment in energy innovation to accelerate our nation’s drive towards energy independence. His Advanced Energy Initiative includes a national goal of replacing more than 75 percent of our oil imports by the year 2025.
The President knows that America is too reliant on foreign energy, so I’m pleased EPA and our partners are helping our nation jump off this treadmill of dependency.
And as we are doing what’s good for our nation’s energy security, we’re also doing what’s good for our farming communities. Doubling the amount of renewable fuels produced from American crops means a lot more soybeans, sunflower seeds and corn, as well as other material like cellolosic biomass and restaurant grease, will be turned into fuel.
Even beyond strengthening our energy and economic security, expanding the use of renewable fuels has an additional benefit that is near-and-dear to my heart – it’s good for our environment.
Nationwide, our air is cleaner today than it was last year, or the year before, or anytime in the past three decades. By reducing the amount of foreign fuel we import through increasing the use of renewable fuels, we will prevent release of greenhouse gas emissions equivalent of up to 14 million tons of carbon dioxide. What does that mean? It’s like preventing the greenhouse gas emissions from nearly 6-point-5 million cars … or 8 times the number of registered vehicles in the state of Nebraska.
Under President Bush’s leadership, EPA is addressing our nation’s growing energy demand in a way that supports our goals for a clean environment and a healthy economy. But we can’t do it on our own, so I want to thank all of our partners here who have helped bring the many benefits of the RFS program to our residents.
From filling America’s breadbaskets to filling America’s gas-tanks, together we are producing solutions that are good for agriculture, good for our environment, and good for the American people.