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  • Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS)
  • Government Procurement of Renewable Energy
  • Regulation of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions from Bioenergy

Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS)

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

EPA Programs

Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) Implementation. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), created in the 2005 Energy Policy Act, amended by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, requires 9 billion gallons of transportation fuel to come from renewable sources by 2012, increasing to 36 billion gallons by 2022. Traditional corn ethanol is capped at 15 billion gallons, requiring advanced biofuel to supply the remaining 21 billions in 2022. The EPA must issue final volume and percentage requirements under the RFS every year.

EPA Rules, Regulations, Guidance, Memorandums of Understanding (MOU)

Final Rule - Expands Definition of Heating Oil in Renewable Fuel Standard. RIN: 2060-AR87. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 9/25/13.
This final rule expands the definition of heating oil under the renewable fuel standard (RFS) to include all renewable fuel oils used to generate heat in buildings.  This will allow advanced and cellulosic biofuel from plant-based materials like agricultural residue, perennial grasses and municipal solid waste to qualify under the RFS.
View EPA Fact Sheet

Proposed Amendment to Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and Identification of New Pathways II. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 5/21/13.
This proposed rule would allow additional fuels to qualify for the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).  Qualifying fuels include butanol made from corn starch as well as ethanol made from corn kernel fibers, renewable diesel, and naphtha made from the gas emitted from landfills. The proposal would also allow renewable compressed natural gas and liquefied natural gas to qualify as cellulosic fuels.

Additional Qualifying Renewable Fuel Pathways under the RFS Program. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). (2/22/13).
This final rule determines that biofuels made from camelina and energy cane and cellulosic gasoline count for credit under the RFS. The definition of renewable diesel is expanded to include jet fuel. In order to qualify as an advanced biofuel, it must demonstrate at least a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to petroleum-based fuels. Cellulosic biofuels must demonstrate a 60% reduction.

2013 Proposed Renewable Fuel Mandate. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). (1/31/13)
The Proposed Renewable Fuel Mandate requires 16.55 billion gallons of renewable fuel to be blended into gasoline in 2013. This constitutes about 10% of the nation's fuel supply and is an increase of 1.65 billion gallons over last year's mandate. The 2013 mandate includes 14 million-gallon requirement for cellulosic biofuel, 1.28 billion- gallon requirement for biomasss-based diesel and 2.75 billion-gallon requirement for advanced biofuels.

2012 Final Renewable Fuel Mandate. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). (12/27/11)
The Final Renewable Fuel Mandate requires 15.2 billion gallons of renewable fuel to be blended into gasoline this year. This constitutes about 9% of the nations fuel supply and is an increase of 1.25 billion gallons over last year's mandate. The 2012 mandate include an 8.65 million-gallon requirement for cellulosic biofuel, 1 billion-gallon requirement for biomass-based diesel and 2 billion-gallon requirement for advanced biofuels. The cellulosic ethanol levels are below what was anticipated in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.

2011 Final Renewable Fuel Mandate (RFS). Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (12/21/10)
The EPA issued final 2011 volume and percentage requirements for cellulosic biofuel, biomass-based diesel, advanced biofuel, and total renewable fuel under the RFS. The rule modifies the provision for "delayed RINs" to make it more broadly applicable to any biofuel production pathway. The rule also establishes criteria for EPA to use in determining whether to approve petitions for foreign-grown feedstocks so that they may use an aggregate approach to comply with the renewable biomass verification provisions.
View EPA Fact Sheet on Amendments ot RFS Program Regulations

Final Rule for 15% Ethanol Content Label. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (6/28/11)
This rule governs how gas stations must label gasoline with a 15% ethanol content. The labels must say "attention" and list the vehicle types that E15 is safe to operate in. The rule requires E15 be tracked through the supply chain for proper labeling.

E15 Waiver. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
In response to a request by Growth Energy under section 211(f)(4) of the Clean Air Act, the EPA has partially granted waivers to raise the ethanol blend limit in gasoline from E10 (10% ethanol) to E15 (15% ethanol) for vehicles of model year (MY) 2001 and more recent.

Additional Sources of Information on Renewable Fuel Policy

Government Procurement of Renewable Energy

Department of Energy

DOE Programs

Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP)- Renewable Energy. Department of Energy (DOE)
FEMP provides information, technical assistance and resources to help Federal agencies evaluate and implement renewable energy technologies. Specific areas of focus include renewable energy resources and technologies, purchasing renewable energy, and project planning in order to comply with statutory requirements for federal procurement found in:

  • Section 203 of the 2005 Energy Policy Actrequires to the extent economically feasible and technically practicable, the percentage of electricity consumed by the federal government generated by renewable energy should be:
    • 3% in fiscal years 2007- 2009
    • 5% in fiscal years 2010- 2012
    • 7.5% in fiscal year 2013 and each fiscal year thereafter
  • Section 142 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA 2007) requires Federal agencies to achieve at least a 20% reduction in annual petroleum consumption and a 10% increase in annual alternative fuel consumption by 2015 from a 2005 baseline.  Section 246 requires each agency to install at least one renewable fuel pump at each Federal fleet fueling center by 2010
  • Section 846 of the National Defense Reauthorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011 mandates that solar equipment purchased indirectly by the Pentagon through subcontracts contain at least 50% American content. The Buy American Act mandates the 50% content rule for products purchased directly by federal agencies including the Pentagon.

DOE Rules, Regulations, Guidance, Memorandums of Understanding (MOU)

MOU- Department of Defense (DOD) and Department of Energy (DOE): Strategic Partnership to Enhance Energy Security (6/27/10)
This MOU identifies a framework for to strengthen coordination of efforts between the DOD and DOE regarding the research, development, deployment and and demonstration of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. This will improve energy security and operation and effectiveness of the DOD, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Partnering with the DOD will give DOE an opportunity to accelerate the deployment of technologies and expertise.

Department of Defense (DoD)

DoD Programs

Army Energy Program, Department of Defense (DOD)
The Army Energy Program focuses on procurement of the lowest-cost energy that meets high reliability standards and minimum vulnerability to interruption from natural or intentional causes, while complying with statutory and regulatory requirements, including the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2007 which codifies the DOD's voluntary goal of 25% of all energy consumed by 2025, but doesn't include any interim targets. The Army is in the process of developing an energy strategy.
View Army Renewable Energy Projects

Navy Energy Program For Security and Independence, Depatment of Defense (DOD)
The Navy Energy Program For Security and Independence focuses on implementing five energy goals to reduce the Navy's overall consumption of energy, decrease its reliance on petroleum, and significantly increase its use of alternative energy. The Navy must comply with the statutory requirements found in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2007 which codifies the DOD's voluntary goal of 25% of all energy consumed by 2025, but doesn't include any interim targets.

The Air Force Energy Program, Department of Defense (DOD)
The Air Force Energy Program focuses on three goals: (1) reducing energy demand; (2) increasing supply, through renewable energy when possible; and (3) changing the culture so airmen consider energy in their day to day operations. The Air Force must comply with the statutory requirements found in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2007 which codifies the DOD's voluntary goal of 25% of all energy consumed by 2025, but doesn't include any interim targets.

View Department of Defense Operational Energy Strategy for 2011 (6/13/11)

View the DoD Energy Blog for current information on Military policies, opinions and programs related to renewable energy and energy efficiency

DoD Rules, Regulations, Guidance, Memorandums of Understanding (MOU)

Policy Memorandum on Army Operational Energy Policy.  (4/30/12)
This memorandum requires the Army to find ways to improve energy performance through techniques, behaviors, and organizational culture; integrate operational energy considerations into planning, requirements development, acquisition, construction, operations, research, development, technology and evaluation, reporting, and management programs; coordinate energy-related plans, budgets and activities; and track, manage and report operational energy performance and usage. Operational Energy is defined as the energy and associated systems, information and processes required to train, move and sustain forces and systems for military operations.

MOU- Department of Defense (DoD) and Department of Energy (DOE): Strategic Partnership to Enhance Energy Security (6/27/10)
This MOU identifies a framework for to strengthen coordination of efforts between the DoD and DOE regarding the research, development, deployment and and demonstration of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. This will improve energy security and operation and effectiveness of the DoD, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Partnering with the DoD will with give DOE an opportunity to accelerate the deployment of technologies and expertise.

MOU- Department of Navy (DoN) and Department of Agriculture (USDA): To Encourage Development of Renewable Energy (1/21/10)
This MOU calls for the DoN and USDA to work together to advanced the the production of biofuels and other renewable energy systems by sharing technical, program management and financial expertise. The objective is to reduce reliance on fossil fuels from volatile areas of the world.
View USDA Press Release

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)

USDA Programs

USDA Rules, Regulations, Guidance, Memorandums of Understanding (MOU)

Proposed Guidelines for Designating Biobased Products for Federal Procurement.  United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).  (5/1/12)
These proposed guidelines allow for the designation of intermediate ingredients such as fibers, resins, and chemicals to qualify as biobased so that the final products made from them would receive preferred Federal procurement under the USDA BioPreferred program.

Executive Orders (EO)

Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance. EO 13514. (10/5/09)
EO 13514 expands on the energy requirements established in EO13423. It's goal is to "to establish an integrated strategy towards sustainability in the Federal Government and to make reduction of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) a priority for Federal agencies."
View a Government Summary of EO 13514 
View Individual Agency Plans to Implement EO 13514

Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management. EO 13423. (1/24/07) Section 2(a) of Executive Order 13423 requires:

  • At least half of the statutorily required renewable energy consumed by the agency come from new renewable sources (placed in service after 1/1/99); and
  • To the extent feasible, the agency implements renewable energy generation projects on agency property for agency use

Regulation of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions from Bioenergy

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

EPA Rules, Regulations, Guidance, Memorandums of Understanding (MOU)

Final Deferral Rule for CO2 Emissions From Bioenergy. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (7/5/11)
This final rule defers for a period of three years, the application of the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) and Title V permitting requirements to carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from bioenergy and other biogenic stationary sources (biogenic CO2). During this time EPA will conduct a detailed study of the science associated with biogenic C02 emissions from stationary sources.

View Legislative Branch- Market Demand (112th Congress)

Contact
Jeramy Shays, Policy Associate
202-507-4629
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