The U.S. biofuels market will collapse without federal incentives to invest in the necessary infrastructure to deliver ethanol, biodiesel, and other renewable fuels to retail customers, lawmakers and industry witnesses warned at a July 31 Senate hearing. Less than 1 percent of the 170,000 gas stations in the U.S. have ethanol pumps, and most of these are located in Minnesota where ethanol is produced, not where flex fuel vehicles are driven, said Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND), chair of the Senate Energy Subcommittee. By contrast, California has 250,000 flex fuel vehicles but only one publicly accessible fueling station in San Diego. \u201cWe are rushing head on to produce renewable fuels and standards but not the infrastructure,\u201d warned Dorgan, who authored the Renewable Fuel Standard in the Energy Policy Act of 2005. \u201cIf we don\u2019t find a way to move this fuel to the people who need it we\u2019ll see a collapse of this market. That\u2019s the last thing we want.\u201d The Subcommittee on Energy, which is part of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, conducted the hearing to receive testimony and determine the policies needed to stimulate development of a renewable fuels infrastructure nationwide. Despite billions of dollars in incentives, a recent Government Accounting Office report concluded that the Department of Energy lacked a strategic commitment to develop the necessary infrastructure to transport biofuels to the retail market. \u201cTo develop new markets for ethanol we also need to pass legislation to increase the infrastructure for ethanol,\u201d Dorgan said. \u201cIt\u2019s not even a very sexy subject, but we have to solve this problem as a country.\u201d \u201cIf we are serious about finding alternatives to foreign oil we should make sure that drivers in every state have access to biodiesel and ethanol,\u201d said Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN). To accelerate immediate penetration of the market the DOE is working with the Environmental Protection Agency to certify national standards for intermediate ethanol blends, such as E15, for which half of the nation\u2019s gas pumps are already equipped, said Alexander Karsner, DOE assistant secretary for energy efficiency and renewable energy. Minnesota has also petitioned the DOE and EPA to approve an intermediate blend of ethanol. DOE is working with the EPA to test cars to see if they can run on E25 grade ethanol. The DOE also is moving to certify higher levels of biodiesel blends from better feed stocks. Dorgan called on the Bush administration to send legislation to the Senate Energy Subcommittee on removing infrastructure barriers to ethanol market penetration. The administration is working on bipartisan legislation with the Office of Management and Budget, Karsner said.