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EPA Launches Program to Increase Use of Domestically Grown and Produced Fuels

Release Date: 12/28/2005
Contact Information: John Millett, (202) 564-4355 / millett.john@epa.gov

(Washington, D.C.-Dec. 28, 2005) Starting in 2006, Americans will be gassing up with nearly three percent of clean-burning, domestic renewable fuels such as ethanol under new standards issued by EPA. Authorized by the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the standard is the first step in EPA's Renewable Fuels Standard Program, which is designed to reduce vehicle emissions and strengthen U.S. energy security by doubling the use of fuels produced from American crops by 2012.

"Under President Bush's leadership, we are addressing our nation's growing energy demand in a way that supports our goals for a clean environment and healthy economy," said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. "This investment in renewable fuels made from domestic crops will support American agriculture and replace fossil fuels with an increasing amount of cleaner-burning alternatives such as ethanol or biodiesel illustrating that environmental progress and economic development can, in fact, go hand-in-hand."

The regulation announced today explains how industry will comply with the Energy Policy Act's default provision requiring that 2.78 percent of the gasoline sold or dispensed to U.S. motorists in 2006 be renewable fuel. The regulation is intended to provide market certainty for smooth implementation of the program in 2006 as EPA expands the program. Many of the act's other provisions regarding the Renewable Fuel Standard Program for 2007 and beyond will be implemented in subsequent regulations.

The program will significantly increase the volume of renewable fuels blended into motor vehicle fuels. Various renewable fuels can be used to meet the requirements of the program, including ethanol and biodiesel. Under this standard, refineries, blenders, and importers would collectively be responsible for meeting program requirements for 2006, where compliance would be calculated over the entire pool of gasoline sold to consumers.

For more information on the Renewable Fuel Standard Program, visit: http://www.epa.gov/otaq/renewablefuels/