On 18th July, the US House Engineering and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Power held a hearing to look at alternative vehicle fuels. The hearing was titled ‘The American Energy Initiative: A focus on Federal government perspectives regarding alternative fuels in vehicles.’
The hearing was witnessed by Mr Howard Gruenspecht, Deputy Administrator for the EIA, Ms. Margo Oge, Director of the Office of Transportation and Air Quality for the US EPA and Dr. Kathleen Hogan, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency for the US DOE.
Members of both parties asked many wide ranging questions about a variety of alternative fuels and vehicles. However, there was a particular focus on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) from the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act which mandates increasing volumes of biofuels to be used in the transport sector. Members of the Committee asked witnesses questions focusing on the practicality and feasibility of the program, the impact of the RFS on corn production and the feasibility of cellulosic biofuels, among other topics.
Unfortunately, either party gave little attention to natural gas vehicles. There were two mentions by Rep. Joe Barton and Rep. Gene Green who both made a point to voice their support.
Adapted from press release by Claira Lloyd