Issue Date: April 16, 2007
Administration Sets Renewable Fuel Goal
In an announcement last week, top officials at the Department of Energy, EPA, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration finalized Bush Administration plans to require production of 7.5 billion gal of renewable motor vehicle fuel by 2012. That's just a first step, the officials said, in a path that will lead to an overall reduction in U.S. gasoline consumption of 20% within 10 years-15% through use of renewable fuels and 5% through better vehicle efficiency. The 7.5 billion-gal benchmark standard just announced, however, is quite timid and likely to be met this year or next through ever-expanding U.S. production of ethanol. For example, the Administration's goal for 2007 is 4.7 billion gal of renewable fuel, and last year, U.S. ethanol refineries produced more than 5 billion gal of ethanol. Some 6 billion gal of new ethanol refinery capacity is under construction, bringing total U.S. capacity to 12 billion gal over the next two years. The Administration's auto efficiency goal works out to a 4% annual increase in vehicle efficiency, NHTSA officials say. The increase was sent to Congress as proposed legislation and is now pending along with other proposed bills.
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