Eleven years ago today, President George W. Bush signed into law what has become the single most successful clean fuels policy in the United States--the expanded Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS2). The RFS2, included in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, requires petroleum refiners and importers to blend annually increasing volumes of renewable fuels with gasoline and diesel, culminating with 36 billion gallons in 2022. Since enactment, the United States has experienced cleaner air, greater energy security, revived economic activity in rural areas, and more affordable choices at the pump.
Among the numerous benefits since signed into law, the RFS has:
â Helped clean the air. The greenhouse gas emissions avoided from using ethanol has increased four-fold from 12.7 million tons CO2e in 2007 to 55 million tons CO2e in 2018. Carbon monoxide and particulate matter emissions are down as well, as is the concentration of ground-level ozone.
â Boosted energy security. U.S. dependence on imported crude oil and petroleum products fell from 58% in 2007 to just 14% in 2018, thanks in large part to growth in the use of ethanol and other biofuels.
â Lowered fuel prices. Because ethanol is priced below gasoline and far below competing octane sources, the RFS has led to lower gas prices for consumers. One recent study found ethanol reduces spending on gasoline by $142 per American household.
â Supported jobs and economic activity. Since enacted, the number of jobs supported by the ethanol industry has increased by 53%--from 238,541 jobs in 2007 to 365,491 in 2018. Additionally, the industry generates more than $40 billion in GDP every year.
"The RFS has unquestionably lived up to its promise," said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper. "It has lowered consumer fuel prices, decreased reliance on imported petroleum, reduced emissions of harmful tailpipe pollutants and greenhouse gases, supported hundreds of thousands of jobs in rural America, and added value to the crops produced by our nation's farmers. With proper oversight and implementation, the program will continue to drive innovation, support rural economies, and provide cleaner and more affordable fuel choices at the pump," he added.