Factsheet: Renewable Fuel Standard

Renewable Fuel Standard

Key Information
Full name of Instrument & Measure (English): 
Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS2)
Description: 
The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program was created under the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct), which amended the Clean Air Act (CAA). The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA) further amended the CAA by expanding the RFS program. EPA implements the program in consultation with U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Energy. The RFS program is a national policy that requires a certain volume of renewable fuel to replace or reduce the quantity of petroleum-based transportation fuel, heating oil or jet fuel. The four renewable fuel categories under the RFS are: Biomass-based diesel; Cellulosic biofuel; Advanced biofuel; Total renewable fuel. “Renewable identification numbers” or RINs are the credits that obligated parties use to demonstrate compliance with the standard. Obligated parties must obtain sufficient RINs for each category in order to demonstrate compliance with the annual standard. On November 30, 2015, EPA finalized the volume requirements and associated percentage standards under the RFS program in calendar years 2014, 2015, and 2016 for cellulosic biofuel, biomass-based diesel, advanced biofuel, and total renewable fuel. EPA also finalized the volume requirement for biomass-based diesel for 2017. The final 2016 standard for advanced biofuel is nearly 1 billion gallons, or 35 percent, higher than the actual 2014 volumes, while the total renewable standard requires growth from 2014 to 2016 of over 1.8 billion gallons of biofuel, or 11% higher than 2014 actual volumes. Biodiesel standards grow steadily over the next several years, increasing every year to reach 2 billion gallons by 2017.
Goal/Aim: 
Increase the share of biofuels, and specifically advanced biofuels
Responsible Authority: 
EPA's Office of Transportation and Air Quality

Status:

Trade Relevance: 
Increase domestic use of biomass for (advanced) biofuels => availability for export
Year Instrument & Measure Started: 
2005
Year Last Instrument & Measure was last Amended: 
2015