Renewable fuels include liquid and gaseous fuels and electricity derived from renewable biomass energy sources, as opposed to fossil fuels. Many renewable fuels achieve significant lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions reductions relative to fossil fuels. Increased use of renewable fuels in the United States can reduce dependence on foreign sources of crude oil and foster development of domestic energy sources, while at the same time providing important reductions in greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.
To accelerate use of fuels derived from renewable sources, Congress established standards under the Energy Policy Act of 2005 designed to encourage the blending of renewable fuels into our nation’s motor vehicle fuel supply. Congress strengthened the renewable fuels program under the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 to include specific annual volume standards for total renewable fuel and also for the specific renewable fuel categories of cellulosic biofuel, biomass-based diesel, and advanced biofuel. The revised statutory requirements also include new criteria for both renewable fuels and for the feedstocks used to produce them, including lifecycle greenhouse gas emission thresholds.