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Congressman Welch's Opening Statements at the Energy and Commerce Full Committee Hearing on the Renewable Fuel Standard

"Thank you, Mr. Chariman, for this hearing. The RFS mandate has been a well-intended flop. It has not helped the environment, it has hurt it. It has increased food costs in this country, and in foreign countries.

"And, it’s done an immense amount of engine damage to everyday folks who want to use chainsaws, want to use boat motors, and want to use motorcycles. And I have here a photograph from the Burlington Free Press, which shows a carburetor that was clean and used regular gas—and this is one that was brought in that has been damaged by ethanol. And I have a carburetor here from a Suzuki motorcycle owned by a veteran. And one side is what would be the condition of the carburetor with regular gas. This is the dirty, filthy side that is the carburetor from the use of ethanol. And the veteran who owned that motorcycle had to pay a bill of $786, just to fix that up from the damage done by the ethanol.

"So we’ve got this situation here, where in addition to the food costs, in addition to the environmental damage, everyday folks who are out there riding their motorcycle—veterans, everybody—using a small engine, using their chainsaw, are finding that when they leave it there, suddenly it’s wrecked. And in fact, my chainsaw got wrecked as a result of ethanol. I’ve got a chainsaw grievance, along with a lot of my constituents.

"This was a plan that had bipartisan support, RFS; it had the best of intentions, it had the worst of outcomes. It’s time for us to change it, and I’m delighted to be working with Mr. Flores of Texas in a strange partnership of the Lone Star State and the Green Mountain State. Thank you very much. I yield back."