This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

January 11, 2006

EPA Publishes Regulations to Implement Renewable Fuel Standard

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published new regulations for ethanol use in our nation's fuel supply in late December. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 gave EPA the authority to establish a new Renewable Fuels Standard Program, which will double the use of fuels produced from U.S. crops by 2012. The regulation explains how industry will comply with the provision requiring that the gasoline blends sold or dispensed to U.S. motorists this year contain, on average, 2.78 percent renewable fuel (such as ethanol), an amount equal to about 4 billion gallons. And for this year, at least, the approach is simple: do nothing, because the EPA expects the industry to meet the standard without any additional regulations. In fact, the ethanol industry produced and sold more than 4 billion gallons last year, and expects to produce more this year. See the press releases on meeting the standard and the new EPA regulations from the Renewable Fuels Association.

In the future, the EPA envisions requiring registration, recordkeeping, and reporting requirements; enforcement provisions; a credit trading program; and various fuel tracking mechanisms to implement the program. For this year, though, the EPA published its simpler regulations in the Federal Register on December 30th. Comments are due by January 30th, and if no adverse comments are received, the regulations will take effect on February 28th. See the EPA press release, the EPA's new Renewable Fuels Standard Web page, and the EPA's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and accompanying Direct Final Rulemaking, as published in the Federal Register.