Are the Renewable Fuel Standards Working?

A reader asks, “Are the Renewable Fuel Standards in place working?”

The United States imports about 55 percent of our nation’s consumption of crude oil. This alarming percentage brings about a concern of the security of our supply and in turn, alternatives must be found to meet our growing needs. Luckily, the United States is a country with bountiful renewable fuel sources, such as solar, wind, geothermal and biofuels.

The Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS) went into effect in 2006 and evaluates the economic and environmental effects (benefits and consequences) of increasing biofuel production. Importing foreign oil is expensive and since RFS has taken effect, oil imports are down. This decrease has also lowered our dependence on the expensive petroleum. The ethanol industry, alone, has produced enough fuel to meet the growing needs of the population.

It’s also less costly at the gas pump, averaging approximatley $1 less than gas, wholesale. United States ethanol helped cut $0.89 on average from a gallon of gas in 2010. Since 2006, United States biofuel use has more than doubled and in 2011, ethanol replaced the need for imported oil by 485 million barrels.

All in all, RFS are working and they will continue to help keep fuel prices lower in this tough economy.

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