White House Releases Federal Renewable Fuel Standards

(by GreenBiz) - Washington D.C., USA – The EPA has released its first-ever nationwide standards for renewable fuel use in automobiles, with a plan to steadily increase the use of alternative fuels to replace gasoline on the country’s roads.

“The Renewable Fuel Standard offers the American people a hat trick – it protects the environment, strengthens our energy security, and supports America’s farmers,” said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. “Today, we’re taking an important first step toward meeting President Bush’s “20 in 10” goal of jumping off the treadmill of foreign oil dependency.”

The standards are part of a goal established by President Bush to reduce gasoline use by 20 percent in the next ten years. The administration plans to rely on alternative fuels, coupled with updating the CAFE standards, which dictate the average fuel economy for automobiles.

There was no mention in the new standards of any regulations on greenhouse gas emissions in light of the Supreme Court’s recent ruling that the EPA should begin such regulations.

“We are evaluating that Supreme Court decision and we’re looking at our options and what actions we may take,” Johnson said at a news conference. “Today is premature to talk about it.”

Authorized by the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the standards require that the equivalent of at least 7.5 billion gallons of renewable fuel be blended into motor vehicle fuel sold in the U.S. by 2012.

The program is estimated to cut petroleum use by up to 3.9 billion gallons and cut annual greenhouse gas emissions by up to 13.1 million metric tons by 2012 – the equivalent of preventing the emissions of 2.3 million cars.

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