Options for Reforming the Renewable Fuel Standard

By the Bipartisan Policy Center.

In the time since the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) was first passed into law in 2005 and later expanded in 2007, domestic biofuels production has risen and renewable fuels have increased as a percentage of the total U.S. transportation fuels supply. At the same time, persistent challenges in courts and in the implementation of enacted laws, as well as significant changes in the U.S. energy production landscape, have kept the RFS at the forefront of energy policy discussions. The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) additional delay of the 2014 rule and the associated compliance volumes is a further indicator that improvements to the RFS are needed. 

However, experience with the program has not led to a consensus on what, if anything, should be done. For some time, there have been strong advocates on both sides of the debate calling for either outright repeal of the RFS or holding firm on the existing requirements. The Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) chose to explore a middle ground where we think tangible progress can be made to reform—but not repeal—the RFS.

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