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The United States is looking
to sustainable renewable biofuels to decrease its dependence on fossil fuels
and accordingly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, pollution, and waste
management problems. The United States Environmental Protection Agency is proposing
a new strategy for increasing the supply of renewable fuels, with a target of
36 billion gallons [more than 136 billion liters] by 2022, as mandated by the
Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. Under this proposed strategy,
renewable fuels would for the first time be required to achieve greenhouse
emission reductions compared to the gasoline and diesel fuels they displace to
receive credit toward meeting the new volume standards.
Energy independence, said EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, puts billions of
dollars into the U.S. economy, creates green jobs [jobs that help the
environment] and protects the planet from climate change. By increasing its use
of renewable biofuels, the U.S. can also decrease its dependence on foreign oil
by more than 297 million barrels a year and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by
an average of 160 million tons a year when this new strategy is fully phased in
Biofuels are solid, liquid, or gaseous fuel obtained from biological material.
These fuels are potentially far less harmful to the environment than fossil
fuels such as coal or petroleum.
The Energy Independence and Security Act, enacted by Congress in 2007,
establishes four categories of renewable fuels - cellulosic fuels or fuels
produced from wood, grass, or non-edible parts of plants; biomass-based diesel,
or fuel produced from recently living plants, animals or their by-products;
advanced biofuels and total renewable fuel. The EPA proposal would require by
2022, 16 billion gallons of cellulosic biofuels; 15 billion gallons annually of
conventional biofuels; 4 billion gallons of advanced biofuels; and one billion
gallons of biomass-based diesel.
To achieve the volume requirements, each year the Environmental Protection
Agency calculates a percentage-based standard that refiners, importers and
blenders of gasoline and diesel must ensure is used in transportation fuel.
The thresholds for new categories would be twenty percent less greenhouse gas
emissions for renewable fuels produced from new facilities, fifty percent less
for biomass-based diesel and advanced biofuels, and sixty percent less for
The United States is striving to do its part to help the world reduce
greenhouse gas emissions and convert to economical and environmentally safer