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Renewable Fuel Standard Facts

RFS primer image

The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 included an expanded Renewable Fuel Standard, which the EPA used to develop a final rule effective July 1, 2010. To comply with the Standard, biofuel producers and importers must blend increasing amounts of biofuels into gasoline and diesel.

However, there have been problems with the government's original predictions regarding the supply and demand of gasoline; U.S. gasoline demand has dropped while supply has increased due to the shale and natural gas revolution in North America. Also, cellulosic technologies have not developed as quickly as expected and there are no commercial plants to date. The EPA rushed through approval of an up to 15 percent ethanol blend (E15) without adequate testing, leading to compatibility problems with E15, poor consumer acceptance and significant infrastructure and cost challenges.

A study by NERA Economic Consulting (NERA) released in March 2013 buttresses the argument that the RFS is irretrievably broken. According to NERA, continued implementation of RFS ethanol mandates by 2015 could:

  • Lead to fuel supply disruptions that ripple adversely through the economy
  • Cause the cost of diesel to rise 300 percent and the cost of gasoline to rise 30 percent. 
  • Decrease U.S. GDP by $770 billion. 
  • Reduce worker take-home pay $580 billion.

Renewable Fuel Standard Facts is available in both high and low resolution versions.

PDF Icon  Renewable Fuel Standard Facts - Hi-Res (October 2013)
File Type: pdf | File Size: 1,679 kb
PDF Icon Renewable Fuel Standard Facts - Low-Res (October 2013)
File Type: pdf | File Size: 495 kb

See high and low resolution versions of individual charts below:

Renewable Fuel Standard

What is the Renewable Fuel Standard?

Permalink with Update What is the RFS? - Hi-Res (Oct. 2013)
Permalink without Update What is the RFS?  - Hi-Res
Permalink with Update What is the RFS? - Low-Res (Oct. 2013)
Permalink without Update What is the RFS?  - Low-Res

Motor Gasoline Consumption

Problems with Predicting Demand

Permalink with Update Motor Gasoline Consumption - Hi-Res (Oct. 2013)
Permalink without Update Motor Gasoline Consumption - Hi-Res
Permalink with Update Motor Gasoline Consumption - Low-Res (Oct. 2013)
Permalink without Update Motor Gasoline Consumption - Low Res

Crude Oil Domestic Crude Production and Gross Imports - Crude

Problems with Predicting Supply

Permalink with Update Crude Oil Domestic Production/Gross Imports Crude - Hi-Res (Oct. 2013)
Permalink without Update Crude Oil Domestic Production/Gross Imports Crude - Hi-Res
Permalink with Update Crude Oil Domestic Production/Gross Imports Crude - Low-Res (Oct. 2013)
Permalink without Update Crude Oil Domestic Production/Gross Imports Crude - Low Res

Cellulosic Biofuel Mandate

Problems with Choosing Technologies

Permalink with Update Cellulosic Biofuel Mandate - Hi-Res (Oct. 2013)
Permalink without Update Cellulosic Biofuel Mandate - Hi-Res
Permalink with Update Cellulosic Biofuel Mandate - Low-Res (Oct. 2013)
Permalink without Update Cellulosic Biofuel Mandate - Low Res

Ethanol Share of U.S. Consumption

What is the "Blend Wall?"

Permalink with Update Ethanol Share of U.S. Gasoline Consumption 2009-2014 - Hi-Res (Oct. 2013)
Permalink without Update Ethanol Share of U.S. Gasoline Consumption 2009-2014 - Hi-Res
Permalink with Update Ethanol Share of U.S. Gasoline Consumption 2009-2014 - Low-Res (Oct. 2013)
Permalink without Update Ethanol Share of U.S. Gasoline Consumption 2009-2014 - Low Res

Economic Impact of Hitting Blend Wall

Running Up Against the "Blend Wall"

Permalink with Update Economic Impact of Hitting the RFS2 Blend Wall - Hi-Res (Oct. 2013)
Permalink without Update Economic Impact of Hitting the RFS2 Blend Wall - Hi-Res
Permalink with Update Economic Impact of Hitting the RFS2 Blend Wall  - Low-Res (Oct. 2013)
Permalink without Update Economic Impact of Hitting the RFS2 Blend Wall  - Low Res

E15 and Your Car

E15 and Your Car

Permalink with Update E15 and Your Car - Hi-Res (Oct. 2013)
Permalink without Update E15 and Your Car - Hi-Res
Permalink with Update E15 and Your Car - Low-Res (Oct. 2013)
Permalink without Update E15 and Your Car - Low Res

Change in Fuel Supply 2008-2012

The RFS - Economics and Security

Permalink with Update Change in Fuel Supply Between 2008 and 2012 - Hi-Res (Oct. 2013)
Permalink without Update Change in Fuel Supply Between 2008 and 2012
Permalink with Update Change in Fuel Supply Between 2008 and 2012 -Low Res (Oct. 2013)
Permalink without Update Change in Fuel Supply Between 2008 and 2012 - Low Res

  • Fuels and Renewables