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Renewable Energy

Proposed Changes To The RFS Requirements

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced a proposal to reduce the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) for 2014 from the previous requirement of 18.15 billion gallons to a revised level of 15.21 billion gallons. The EPA proposal represents a reduction of approximately 16 percent from the original RFS fuel volume for 2014, which was originally established by the “Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007. The overall goal of this legislation was to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil to meet our energy needs, and to expand the production of renewable fuels domestically in the U.S.     [ read more ... ]


EPA Denies RFS Waiver

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced that it would be denying the request for a waiver of the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS). The EPA indicated that the agency did not find the necessary evidence to support a finding of “severe economic harm” that would have warranted the RFS waiver to be granted. EPA used a series of economic analyses and modeling done in conjunction with USDA and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). EPA indicated a strong recognition of the severe drought in 2012, along with the economic hardship it has placed on livestock producers; however, based on the analysis conducted, EPA did not feel there was enough justification for a RFS waiver at this time. [ read more ... ]


RFS Being Challenged By Drought

The 2012 drought has brought the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) into the forefront. The RFS regulations are managed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and those regulations are quite complicated. The RFS requires that minimum levels of renewable biofuels must be used to blend gasoline in the U.S. Corn-based ethanol is the primary fuel ingredient that is used to meet the RFS requirement. Currently ethanol makes up about 10 percent of the U.S. fuel supply, with just over 13 billion gallons of ethanol per year being produced in the U.S. [ read more ... ]


Ethanol Industry Faces Challenges

What a difference a decade makes ! In 2000, U.S. ethanol production was less than 2 billion gallons per year, with 54 ethanol plants operating in the Country, and many of them being quite small. The estimated ethanol production for 2011 is over 13 billion gallons per year, with over 200 ethanol plants operating in 29 States, with a majority of the ethanol plants in the Midwest. Today, over 85 percent of the motor fuel sold in the U.S. contains some type of ethanol blend, and the use of ethanol has reduced the need for oil imports from OPEC and other nations by about 445 million barrels per year, which saved the U.S. about $34 billion. In 2010, it was estimated that there were over 7 million “flex-fuel” vehicles in use in the U.S., compared to virtually none a decade ago. [ read more ... ]