Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Stephen Johnson today signed into law the final implementation rules of the Renewable Fuels Standard into law. The RFS was passed as part of the 2005 energy bill and require gasoline refiners to use increasing volumes of renewable fuel each year.
The current RFS calls for 7.5 billion gallons of renewable fuel use per year by 2012. The RFS was first enacted in January 2006 under a default rule. It called for the use of 4 billion gallons of renewable fuel use in 2006 and increasing incrementally to 7.5 billion gallons of annual renewable fuel use in 2012. Today's final rule will implement the full RFS as passed into law, including the critical credit trading provisions that allow gasoline refiners the flexibility to blend ethanol where it makes the most economic sense for them.
Ethanol makers are well on their way to surpass the 7.5 billion gallon mandate within the next two years. For 2007, 4.02% of all the fuel sold or dispensed to U.S. motorists will have to come from renewable sources, roughly 4.7 billion gallons. Total annual capacity is forecast at 5.7 billion gallons in 2007, up from 4.89 billion gallons in 2006, according to the American Ethanol Coalition.