Renewable Fuel Standard White Paper
On May 18, 2016, the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) released its Proposed Renewable Fuel Standards for 2017 and the Biomass Based Diesel Volume for 2018. As policymakers and the public consider this proposal, it is important to provide an overview of current Renewable Fuel Policy and a roadmap for fundamental policy change. Renewable Fuels have been mandated under federal law for over a decade, and our current renewable fuels policy is outdated, and ineffective. Government fuel blending requirements are constraining free market forces, supporting uneconomic activity, and limiting consumer choice.
Meanwhile, aspirational goals and benefits are not being achieved. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPACT) set renewable fuel volume mandates for seven years, but this mandate was preemptively replaced by an even larger mandate under the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA). EISA expanded the size and scope of fuel mandates and also included significant elements that are no longer practical and do not reflect today’s energy and technology realities. The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is a broken policy that needs to be repealed or significantly reformed. Significant reform of the RFS means setting a hard blending cap on ethanol that does not exceed 9.7%.
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