General Wesley Clark to Testify on Success of the Renewable Fuel Standard

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, General Wesley K. Clark (Ret.), co-chair of Growth Energy’s Board of Directors will testify on the numerous benefits of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Furthermore, Clark will explain why the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) recent proposal to reduce the 2014 Renewable Fuel Obligations (RVO) is a misguided policy that would move an industry that is critical to improving our environment, creating jobs and breaking our addiction to foreign oil backward, not forward.

“My message to the Committee is this: the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is an overwhelming success.  It has reduced our dependence on foreign oil and made our nation more energy independent, created American jobs, revitalized rural America, injected much-needed competition into a monopolized vehicle-fuels market, lowered the price at the pump, and improved the environment.  That is a great record of accomplishment – one that I would call a brilliant success.  It is wise policy, and a tribute to its bipartisan passage.”

General Clark will note that the RFS has provided, “real, tangible results that benefit every American today.  But if some had their way, we’d throw all of this progress away so the incumbents can shut out competition and maintain their stranglehold on the wallets of American drivers so that Americans will never escape the burden of imported oil and imported, monopolistic fuel pricing.”

As a retired four star general and an expert on issues of national security, Clark will impress upon the committee that, “The U.S. continues to be extremely vulnerable to shocks in the oil supply and price disruptions –from both foreign supply and the domestic supply chain.  During the last decade, the price of oil has nearly quadrupled, going from roughly $25 per barrel in 2001 to nearly $100 per barrel today; that price disruption has had a significant impact on American consumers and the American economy, with the price of gasoline rising from $1.09 per gallon in 2001 to roughly $3.25 per gallon today.” General Clark will also explain that the U.S continues to spend billions each year to protect oil supply routes in the Middle East, which could be dramatically reduced with the increased use of homegrown American fuel.

In response to the EPA’s proposed rule, General Clark will point out that, “The EPA proposal sets us back on the path to fulfillment, will chill investment in biofuels, rewards deliberate and willful resistance to the law, and will encourage further and more intensive efforts to gut RFS in the years ahead.  It would cause severe harm to farmers, the biofuels industry, and the nation’s economy.  This proposal is already creating great uncertainty for farmers and other industry investors.”

General Clark will discuss in detail the positive impacts the RFS has had on our environment, America’s farmers and rural economies. Furthermore, he will outline how there is a very limited correlation between the production of biofuels and food prices, pointing out that, “Countless academic, economic and government studies have disproven the misplaced notion that biofuels production has increased the cost of food.  These studies have instead found that record-high oil prices, Wall Street speculators and the high costs of manufacturing, packaging and transportation have far more impact than ethanol on everyday grocery prices,” and that “There is no substantial link between ethanol production and grocery prices.”

General Clark will conclude his testimony by stating, “The RFS is a policy that is working…The bottom line is that this is a policy that benefits all Americans…and we can no longer afford to be 90 percent dependent on fossil fuels.”

To view General Clark’s full testimony, click HERE

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Growth Energy represents the producers and supporters of ethanol who feed the world and fuel America in ways that achieve energy independence, improve economic well-being and create a healthier environment for all Americans now. For more information, please visit us at, follow us on Twitter @GrowthEnergy or connect with us on Facebook.