THE COMMITTEE ON ENERGY AND COMMERCE INTERNAL MEMORANDUM


THE COMMITTEE ON ENERGY AND COMMERCE
INTERNAL MEMORANDUM
July 6, 2012
TO: Members, Subcommittee on Energy and Power
FROM: Subcommittee on Energy and Power Staff
RE: Hearing on “The American Energy Initiative”
On Tuesday, July 10, 2012, at 10:00 a.m. in room 2322 of the Rayburn House Office Building, the Subcommittee on Energy and Power will hold the twenty-third of a multi-day hearing entitled “The American Energy Initiative.” This day of the hearing will focus on the challenges and opportunities facing alternative transportation fuels and vehicles. Witnesses are expected to testify on the status of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), flex-fuel vehicles, and other federal and private-sector efforts to encourage the development and use of alternative fuels and vehicles.

I. WITNESSES
Panel I
Mr. Joseph Petrowski Mr. Jack Gerard
Chief Executive Officer President and Chief Executive Officer
Cumberland Gulf Group American Petroleum Institute
Mr. Robert Dinneen Mr. Thomas Tanton
President and Chief Executive Officer Executive Director and Director,
Renewable Fuels Association Science and Technology Assessment
American Tradition Institute
Mr. Michael McAdams Mr. Michael Breen
President Vice President
Advanced Biofuels Association Truman National Security Project
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Dr. Richard A. Bajura
Professor, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Director, National Research Center for Coal and Energy
West Virginia University
Panel II
Mr. Gregory Dolan Mr. Shane Karr
Executive Director – Americas/Europe Vice President, Federal Government Affairs
Methanol Institute Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers
Mr. Donald Althoff Mr. Thomas Hassenboehler
Chief Executive Officer Vice President of Policy Development and
Flex Fuel US Legislative Affairs
America’s Natural Gas Alliance
Ms. MaryAnn Wright
Vice President, Global Technology and Innovation, and
Chair, Electric Drive Transportation Association
Johnson Controls Inc.

II. BACKGROUND
Pursuant to the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, and other statutes, a host of Federal programs are underway to develop and deploy alternatives to petroleum-derived motor fuels and the vehicles that run on them. High gasoline prices and Middle East instability have heightened the public’s interest in these efforts.
Each alternative transportation energy source – biofuels, electricity, methanol, natural gas, and others – offers a unique mix of potential benefits as well as economic and technological obstacles to overcome. Some require advances in vehicles for which research and development is ongoing. Some necessitate changes to the existing motor fuel supply chain, while others will need an entirely new infrastructure. Many entail costs that need to be reduced in order to expand market penetration. The most widely deployed alternative fuel to date is corn-based ethanol, which is a major part of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) established in the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, and other statutes.
To date, petroleum-derived fuels still dominate the transportation sector, and that is
unlikely to change in the near term. But over a longer time horizon, increased diversity in the fuel supply and vehicle mix is much more likely and current and proposed measures will shape that transformation.
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This hearing will focus on non-governmental perspectives only. A separate governmental hearing is scheduled for July 17, 2012, and will include as witnesses representatives of the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Energy, and Energy Information Administration.
III. ISSUES
The following issues will be examined at the hearing:
● Current status of the RFS, and implementation challenges facing producers, blenders, and marketers of renewable fuels;
● Prospects for meeting future conventional and advanced biofuels targets under the RFS, and the logistical issues related to their incorporation into the fuel supply;
● Prospects for other alternative energy sources, such as methanol, natural gas, and electricity, and the infrastructure necessary to supply them;
● Current and proposed efforts to diversify the nation’s vehicle fleet to include flex-fuel, natural gas, electric vehicles, and others; and,
● Impacts of various alternative fuels and vehicles on the cost of driving, the economy, jobs, and national security.
IV. STAFF CONTACT
If you have any questions regarding this hearing, please contact Ben Lieberman at (202) 225-2927.