December 28, 2005

EPA: Renewable Fuel Standard Requirements for 2006

Under the Energy Policy Act of 2005, EPA is responsible for promulgating regulations to ensure that gasoline sold in the United States contains a specific volume of renewable fuel. A national Renewable Fuel Program (also known as the Renewable Fuel Standard Program, or RFS Program) will increase the volume of renewable fuel that is blended into gasoline, starting with calendar year 2006. The renewable fuel standard is the result of an unprecedented agreement between refiners and producers, and will double the amount of renewable fuel usage by 2012.

Regulation of Fuels and Fuel Additives: Renewable Fuel Standard Requirements for 2006 (signed December 22, 2005)

(Washington, D.C.-Dec. 28, 2005) Starting in 2006, Americans will be gassing up with nearly three percent of clean-burning, domestic renewable fuels such as ethanol under new standards issued by EPA. Authorized by the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the standard is the first step in EPA's Renewable Fuels Standard Program, which is designed to reduce vehicle emissions and strengthen U.S. energy security by doubling the use of fuels produced from American crops by 2012.

"Under President Bush's leadership, we are addressing our nation's growing energy demand in a way that supports our goals for a clean environment and healthy economy," said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. "This investment in renewable fuels made from domestic crops will support American agriculture and replace fossil fuels with an increasing amount of cleaner-burning alternatives such as ethanol or biodiesel illustrating that environmental progress and economic development can, in fact, go hand-in-hand."

The regulation announced today explains how industry will comply with the Energy Policy Act's default provision requiring that 2.78 percent of the gasoline sold or dispensed to U.S. motorists in 2006 be renewable fuel. The regulation is intended to provide market certainty for smooth implementation of the program in 2006 as EPA expands the program. Many of the act's other provisions regarding the Renewable Fuel Standard Program for 2007 and beyond will be implemented in subsequent regulations.

The program will significantly increase the volume of renewable fuels blended into motor vehicle fuels. Various renewable fuels can be used to meet the requirements of the program, including ethanol and biodiesel. Under this standard, refineries, blenders, and importers would collectively be responsible for meeting program requirements for 2006, where compliance would be calculated over the entire pool of gasoline sold to consumers.

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