The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the long-overdue details of the Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS2) today. The original RFS program mandated 7.5 billion gallons of renewal fuel be blended into gasoline by 2012.
Under the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007, the RFS program was revised in the following key ways, according to the EPA's website:
- EISA expanded the RFS program to include diesel, in addition to gasoline;
- EISA increased the volume of renewable fuel required to be blended into transportation fuel from 9 billion gallons in 2008 to 36 billion gallons by 2022;
- EISA established new categories of renewable fuel, and set separate volume requirements for each one.
- EISA required EPA to apply lifecycle greenhouse gas performance threshold standards to ensure that each category of renewable fuel emits fewer greenhouse gases than the petroleum fuel it replaces.
EPA also released the following percentage standards for 2012:
Last spring EPA had proposed a volume requirement of 1.28 billion gallons for biomass-based diesel for 2013. EISA specifies a one billion gallon minimum volume requirement for that category for 2013 and beyond, but enables EPA to increase the volume requirement after consideration of a variety of environmental, market, and energy-related factors. EPA is continuing to evaluate the many comments from stakeholders on the proposed biomass based diesel volume for 2013 and will take final action next year.
Overall, EPA's RFS2 program encourages greater use of renewable fuels, including advanced biofuels. For 2012, the program is implementing EISA's requirement to blend more than 1.25 billion gallons of renewable fuels over the amount mandated for 2011.
PF Perspective: No surprises here. These details were widely expected.