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President Obama Announces Three Steps to Boost Biofuels

President Barack Obama announced on February 3 three actions that the federal government is taking to boost U.S. biofuels production. The measures include: the final rule from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to implement the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) of 36 billion gallons by 2022; a proposed rule from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for its Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP), which provides financing to increase the production of biomass for bioenergy; and the release of Growing America's Fuel,the first report from the president's Biofuels Interagency Working Group. The report lays out a strategy to advance the development and commercialization of a sustainable biofuels industry.

The primary measure is the change in the RFS program, required by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which mandates that biofuels production will grow from last year's 11.1 billion gallons to 36 billion gallons in 2022. The 2022 goal includes 21 billion gallons to come from advanced biofuels, defined as those that cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50%. For the first time, some renewable fuels must also achieve greenhouse gas emission reductions, compared to the gasoline and diesel fuels they displace, in order to be counted towards compliance with volume standards. According to the EPA, meeting the 2022 goal could reduce U.S. dependence on oil by more than 328 million barrels per year.
 
 

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