On November 30, as the Paris international climate conference was getting underway, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a long-overdue update of Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) requirements. Originally established in 2005 and then greatly expanded by the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007, the RFS mandates increasing use of ethanol, biodiesel and other biofuels in America’s cars and trucks.
Two things were notable. For the first time, EPA set the overall mandate at levels significantly lower than targets Congress called for in 2007. Second, raising the hackles of the biofuel lobby, the Obama administration omitted the RFS from its official submission in Paris about actions the U.S. is taking to cut carbon emissions.
In other words, the EPA seems to realize that the nation’s dream plan for green fuels was unrealistic, and the Obama administration is tacitly admitting that biofuels aren’t better than fossil fuels when it comes to greenhouse gases. In fact, they are worse.
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