RS22870 - Waiver Authority Under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS)
5-May-2008; Brent D. Yacobucci; 5 p.
Abstract: Transportation fuels are required by federal law to contain a minimum amount of
renewable fuel each year. This renewable fuel standard (RFS), established by the Energy
Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct, P.L. 109-58) and amended by the Energy Independence and
Security Act of 2007 (EISA, P.L. 110-140), requires that 9.0 billion gallons of
renewable fuels be blended into gasoline and other transportation fuels in 2008. Most
of this mandate will be met using corn-based ethanol. However, high prices and tight
supplies for oil, gasoline, and food/feed grains have raised concerns over whether the
current RFS should be modified or eliminated. Some policymakers are arguing that
demand for corn-based ethanol has contributed significantly to price increases for food.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has the authority to waive the RFS
requirements, in whole or in part, if certain conditions outlined in the law are present.
The governor of Texas recently requested a waiver of the RFS because of high grain
prices, and there is growing congressional interest in the EPA waiver authority. This
report provides a brief overview of the RFS program and discusses the process and
criteria for EPA to approve a waiver petition. [read report]
Topics: Transportation, Energy