On May 5, 2009, EPA issued its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to revise the annual renewable fuel standard (RFS) under the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. The proposal — RFS2 — would expand the renewable fuels program beyond gasoline to generally cover all transportation fuel, and would establish new renewable fuel categories and eligibility requirements, including setting the first-ever mandatory greenhouse gas reduction thresholds for fuel categories. The program would also mandate 36 billion gallons of renewable fuels by 2022, with benchmarks for advanced biofuels, biomass-based diesel, and cellulosic biofuels. The revised RFS is expected to “reduce the nation’s dependence on foreign sources of crude oil,” while at the same time “providing an expanded market for agricultural products such as corn and soybeans and open new markets for the development of cellulosic feedstock industries and conversion technologies.”
The proposed rule is open for comment for 60 days following publication in the Federal Register. EPA will hold a public hearing on June 9, 2009 and will conduct a public workshop on the lifecycle greenhouse gas analysis on June 10-11. Both the hearings and the workshop will be held in Washington D.C. For more information on the EPA’s program, or these events, please visit here, or contact a member of the SGR Sustainability Practice Group.