The Environmental Protection Agency has established a Renewable Fuel Standard program.
Authorized by the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the RFS program requires 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. The EPA says the RFS is an important first step toward meeting President Bush’s call to reduce gasoline use by 20-percent within 10 years by growing our renewable and alternative fuel use to 35 billion gallons by the year 2017.
The RFS program requires major American refiners, blenders, and importers to use a minimum volume of renewable fuel each year between 2007 and 2012. The minimum level or “standard” which is determined as a percentage of the total volume of fuel a company produces or imports, will increase every year. For 2007, 4.02 percent of all the fuel sold or dispensed to U.S. motorists will have to come from renewable sources, roughly 4.7 billion gallons.