New Study: Biofuel Use Saved 589.3 Million Tons of Carbon Emissions Over the Past Decade

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Courtesy of Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO)

Over its 10-year lifespan, the Renewable Fuel Standard’s (RFS) requirement to substitute biofuels for fossil fuels has displaced nearly 1.9 billion barrels of foreign oil and reduced U.S. transportation-related carbon emissions by 589.33 million metric tons, the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) finds in an analysis released today.

Brent Erickson, executive vice president of BIO’s Industrial & Environmental Section, stated:

“The Renewable Fuel Standard was signed into law ten years ago this month by President George W. Bush. The law’s purpose was to end America’s addiction to oil, reduce reliance on foreign oil and lower carbon emissions from the transportation sector. The RFS program has demonstrably achieved those goals. The total reduction in carbon emissions achieved under the program is equal to removing more than 124 million cars from the road over the decade.

“It is unfortunate that the Environmental Protection Agency has delayed issuing new rules for the program and is now proposing to halt growth in the biofuel market. The agency’s delay will continue to allow fossil fuels to be used when cleaner, lower carbon biofuels are available, reversing some of the progress made in the past ten years.”

The major findings of the study include:

  • Over its 10-year lifespan, the Renewable Fuel Standard has reduced U.S. transportation-related carbon emissions by 589.33 million metric tons.
  • The total reduction is equivalent to removing more than 124 million cars from the road over the decade.
  • The RFS has displaced nearly 1.9 billion barrels of foreign oil over the past decade by replacing fossil fuels with homegrown biofuels.
  • EPA’s recent proposed rules for the RFS would cut short achievable future carbon emission reductions. In 2015 alone, the proposal would add 19.6 million tons of CO2e for the year, equal to putting 7.3 million cars back on the road, compared with achievable levels of biofuel use.

The study is available for download here.

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