Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007
The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 is a United States law adopted in December 2007 that calls for significant increases in production of bioethanol. The law also calls for increases in vehicle fuel efficiency, energy efficiency and other measures.
Renewable Fuel Mandate
The following summary is from "Key Provisions of Energy Bill Passed by US House" by CNBC.
- "Expands mandate for U.S.-grown biofuels, such as ethanol, to 36 billion gallons in 2022, versus current levels near 6.5 billion gallons.
- "Near-term usage requirement goes to 9 billion gallons in 2008 and 15.2 billion gallons in 2011."
- "Caps ethanol supply from corn at 15 billion gallons; the rest must come from non-food 'cellulosic' sources, such as switchgrass and wood chips.
- "Bans companies from restricting installation of ethanol pumps as part of franchise agreements."
- Lack of input for EPA biofuels report could impact future policy, 12 April 2011 by Ethanol Producer Magazine: "The first triennial report on biofuels being drafted for Congress by the U.S. EPA lacks input from industry experts, which could result in negative information being falsely presented as fact to policymakers later this year, according to researchers familiar with the report."
- "The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 requires the EPA to assess the environmental impacts associated with biofuels every three years and report its findings to Congress. The EPA released its first draft report in February for reviewing purposes and conducted a peer review meeting in March to evaluate the report, which is to be presented in its final form to Congress mid-year....However, industry experts who offered oral testimony at the hearing were disappointed to see the panel did not include a single member of the biofuels industry or anyone with expertise in areas such as greenhouse gas emissions, which could provide valuable insight into some of the report’s conclusions."
- See the draft report, Biofuels and the Environment: the First Triennial Report to Congress (External Review Draft)
- Ethanol Industry: Too Big to De-Subsidize?, 10 May 2010 by HybridCars: "The auto industry is fighting to delay an EPA rule change that would increase the allowable level of ethanol blended into gasoline from 10 to 15 percent. Carmakers say that the increase could damage catalytic converters and cause 'check engine' lights to malfunction."
- "A 50 percent increase in the ethanol allowance would help the United States meet a 36 billion gallon ethanol mandate made law by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, and help the ethanol industry—which has lost several companies to bankruptcy recently—continue to grow."
- "The EPA is reported to be leaning toward approving the increase, despite calls from automakers for further testing. Environmentalists are also largely opposed to ethanol, citing a net carbon emissions effect that is questionable at best. Though the burning of ethanol itself produces less carbon than petroleum, emissions associated with the growth, harvesting and production of the fuel have been shown in some studies to neutralize any positive effect."
- "Under the government’s fuel economy regulations, automakers are allowed to assign higher fuel economy ratings to vehicles that have been specially outfitted to use an 85 percent blend of ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. Yet, very few of these vehicles ever use E85 fuel."
- EPA's Biofuel Mandates Based on Shaky Assumptions, Scientists Say, 20 April 2010 by SolveClimate: "Federal renewable fuel mandates have created an industry around corn ethanol that now consumes nearly a third of the U.S. corn crop. But what is the rationale behind those mandates in the first place? Several scientists have asked and found the answers to be unsound."
- "When the Environmental Protection Agency revised its renewable fuel standards in February, the agency recalculated the lifecycle emissions of corn ethanol to find that it was 20 percent less greenhouse-gas emitting than gasoline and, therefore, qualified as a renewable fuel. Some wondered what had changed since an EPA review issued less than a year before found that emissions from corn ethanol were too high for it to qualify."
- "As it turns out, none of the actual data about emissions from biofuels changed — just the way the EPA presented it....Specifically, the agency's new fuel standards assess each biofuel based on its assumed greenhouse gas emissions in the year 2022, the deadline by which renewable fuel production must be at levels mandated by the Energy Security and Independence Act of 2007."
- But focusing on the amount biofuels are expected to emit in 2022 'distorts the picture of today's biofuels,' according to Jeremy Martin, a senior analyst in the Union of Concerned Scientists' Clean Vehicles Program."
- "Even the EPA's own analysis 'shows that, in the near term, natural-gas-powered, dry-milled corn ethanol production results in an increase of greenhouse gas emissions of 12 to 33 percent compared to gasoline,' says Joe Fargione, a lead scientist at the Nature Conservancy."
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