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  • Renewable Fuels Association

RFS slashes GHG emissions by nearly 1 billion tons to date

Image: Life Cycle Associates

A new analysis from a renowned carbon accounting firm finds that the greenhouse gas emission reductions achieved under the Renewable Fuel Standard far exceed the reductions originally projected by U.S. EPA. Between 2008 and 2020, the use of biofuels under the RFS has resulted in cumulative savings of 980 million metric tons of carbon dioxide-equivalent greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

The research, which updates the results from a previously published study, was conducted for the Renewable Fuels Association by Stefan Unnasch and Debasish Parida of Life Cycle Associates.

Image: Life Cycle Associates

The greater-than-expected GHG savings are attributable to several factors: corn ethanol provided larger GHG reductions than anticipated by EPA; the actual carbon intensity of gasoline and diesel was worse than estimated by EPA; and use of biodiesel and renewable diesel exceeded EPA’s original expectations.

“The Renewable Fuel Standard has been the single most effective and efficient policy we’ve ever had for decarbonizing our nation’s transportation fuels,” said Geoff Cooper, RFA president and CEO. “This research clearly demonstrates that the RFS has already put us firmly on the path toward net-zero GHG emissions by mid-century, and the program will continue to serve as the bedrock for future efforts to combat climate change. The RFS has overachieved its original expectations, and renewable fuel producers and farmers across the country should be extremely proud of their important role in securing 1 billion metric tons of carbon reduction.”

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