10 April 2007 22:33 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--The US on Tuesday finalised Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) rules that will require US distributors to blend a minimum of 7.5bn gal/year of renewable fuels into conventional fuel by 2012.
The new rules also create a new system of trading biofuels credits, designed to allow US gasoline refiners the flexibility of blending renewable fuels where it is most economical for them to do so.
The so-called RIN (Renewables Identification Number) system would resemble emissions credits trading administered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for sulphur dioxide and nitrous oxide.
“We are taking an important first step toward meeting President [George] Bush’s goal of jumping off the treadmill of foreign oil dependency,” said EPA administrator Stephen Johnson.
Bush in January set out an even high goal than the RFS target, calling on the US to reduce gasoline demand by 20% in the next 10 years through increased consumption of renewable fuels.
That goal would see the US will use 35bn gal/year of alternative fuels, a five-fold increase from the 7.5bn gal/year 2012 target now in force.
The proposal will also permit the use of alternative fuels, such as liquefied coal and hydrogen cell technology, in addition to renewable sources of energy.
The Bush administration has also pledged to seek legislation to allow changes in fuel efficiency standards for passenger cars and light trucks produced after 2010.
An official said higher fuel efficiency levels could help reduce US gasoline demand by up to an estimated 8.5bn gal/year.
The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), which represents US ethanol producers, praised the signing of the final RFS rules into law.“This shows a consistent commitment by the federal government in developing a renewable fuels industry in this country,” the RFA said.
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