Over its 10-year lifespan, the Renewable Fuel Standard's (RFS) requirement to substitute biofuels for fossil fuels has displaced nearly 1.9 billion barrels of foreign oil and reduced U.S. transportation-related carbon emissions by 589.33 million metric tons, according to an analysis from the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO).
‘The Renewable Fuel Standard was signed into law 10 years ago this month by President George W. Bush,’ notes Brent Erickson, executive vice president of BIO's industrial and environmental section. ‘The law's purpose was to end America's addiction to oil, reduce reliance on foreign oil and lower carbon emissions from the transportation sector. The RFS program has demonstrably achieved those goals. The total reduction in carbon emissions achieved under the program is equal to removing more than 124 million cars from the road over the decade.’
The BIO report comes after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced in May its long-awaited – but controversial – proposed volume requirements under the RFS program for the years 2014, 2015 and 2016.
BIO claims the EPA's recent proposal would cut short achievable future carbon emission reductions. In 2015 alone, the report charges, the proposal would add 19.6 million tons of CO2e for the year, equal to putting 7.3 million cars back on the road, compared with achievable levels of biofuel use.
“It is unfortunate that the Environmental Protection Agency has delayed issuing new rules for the program and is now proposing to halt growth in the biofuel market,” comments Erickson. “The agency's delay will continue to allow fossil fuels to be used when cleaner, lower-carbon biofuels are available, reversing some of the progress made in the past 10 years.”
The study is available for download here.