Six years after US Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 was signed into law, Renewable Fuels Assn. says 'tremendous progress' and growth of renewable fuel production, consumption has belied RFS opponents' expectations of doomsday outcomes

WASHINGTON , December 19, 2013 (press release) – Six years ago today, President George W. Bush signed into law the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA). The bill was passed by the Senate on a vote of 86-6 and the House on a vote of 314-100. The centerpiece of EISA was a greatly expanded Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The new RFS required rapid growth in the consumption of renewable fuels, culminating in 36 billion gallons in 2022. In addition, the law required renewable fuels to meet certain environmental performance thresholds and created specific categories for cellulosic and advanced biofuels.

In a signing ceremony at the Department of Energy, President Bush declared that, “Today, we make a major step with the Energy Independence and Security Act. We make a major step toward reducing our dependence on oil, confronting global climate change, expanding production of renewable fuels and giving future generations a nation that is stronger, cleaner and more secure.”

Bob Dinneen, President and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), noted, “Just six years later, tremendous progress has been made toward achieving the original objectives of the expanded RFS. Renewable fuel production and consumption has grown dramatically. Dependence on petroleum—particularly imports of refined products—is down significantly. Greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector have fallen. The value of agricultural products is up appreciably. And communities across the country have benefited from the job creation, increased tax revenue, and heightened household income that stems from the construction and operation of a biorefinery.”

Dinneen continued, “Meanwhile, the doomsday outcomes threatened by opponents of the RFS simply have not materialized. Agricultural land use continues to shrink, the Gulf of Mexico ‘dead zone’ continues to contract, deforestation rates continue to fall, and food price inflation has followed historical trends.”

This brief report, “Celebrating Six Years of The Renewable Fuel Standard”, examines how the world has changed since passage of the expanded RFS in 2007.

In summary, Dinneen said, “While substantial progress has been made toward accomplishing the legislative goals of EISA, the RFS has just gotten started. Indeed, we’re not even halfway through the revolutionary 15-year energy plan that became law six years ago today. We must fight hard to protect the advances this country has made under the RFS toward energy independence and economic security. We are fighting for the future while Big Oil and Big Food fight selfishly to protect their profit margins.”

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