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RFS proposals to increase GHG emissions?

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

In light of the proposed rule for the 2014 RFS, BIO have utilised the GREET 1.2013 model to estimate the changes in petroleum demand and the associated CO2 equivalent emissions from both 2013 and the statutory RFS levels for 2014.

Proposals, estimates and findings

This year, the US is projected to use 173 billion gallons of petroleum blendstocks and 16 billion gallons of biofuels. The 2014 propsal, as currently written, would require over 175 billion gallons of petroleum and lower biofuel use to 15 billion gallons. If the EPA were to maintain the statutory levels of biofuels, the US would reduce its use of petroleum to 172 billion gallons of petroleum and increase use of biofuels to 18 billion gallons.

By using GREET 1.2013 generated estimates it has been concluded by Bop that the EPA proposal will result in an increase of more than 23 million t of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions. Maintaining the RFS statutory volumes of biofuel would decrease emissions by almost 7 million t.

Using the EPA’s estimates of the greenhouse intensity of different fuel choices, the proposal would still result I an increase of nearly 23 million t of CO2 equivalent and maintaining the statutory use of biofuels would decrease emission by approximately 13 million t.


Brent Erickson, executive vice president of BIO’s Industrial & Environmental Section said, ‘the bottom line on the administration’s proposed 2014 RFS rule is that, if left unchanged, it will increase our reliance on foreign oil and increase emissions on greenhouse gases. By stopping growth in use of biofuels, the proposed rule will stymie the commercialisation of advanced and cellulosic biofuels and discourage additional innovation in the biotechnology industry.

‘The RFS was intended to set the US on a long term path to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. This proposed rule reverses that path and results in environmental backsliding.’

Erickson concluded, ‘what the administration failed to consider before issuing the recent RFS proposal is that while gasoline use is projected to decline, diesel fuel use will continue to increase as it has for the past few years. EPA can and should maintain the RFS requirement to increase use of biofuels, rather than backsliding on the greenhouse gas emissions.’

Adapted from a press release by Claira Lloyd.

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