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RFS Proposal Would Increase Greenhouse Gas Emissions

EPA biofuelsCuts in biofuels this year would increase emissions of greenhouse gases next year, according to a new white paper from the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO).

The Obama administration’s proposal to reduce the 2014 renewable fuel standard (RFS) could reverse progress on reducing climate-changing emissions from the US transportation sector, according to the BIO.

If future RFS requirements are set along the lines EPA has proposed for 2014, carbon emissions would increase for several years. And the proposal runs the risk of destabilizing commercial development of cellulosic and advanced biofuels.

The white paper was published as a special report by Industrial Biotechnology Journal.

The paper utilizes Energy Information Administration projections of fuel use from 2014 to 2022 to estimate volumes of petroleum and biofuel use for each year. Based on EPA’s proposed requirements for 2014, the US would emit 6.6 million more metric tons of CO2 equivalent greenhouse gases than it did in 2013. By 2022, the cumulative emissions of greenhouse gases are nearly 1 billion metric tons CO2 higher than would occur if EPA continued to set the RFS at statutory levels, the paper concludes.


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