Alternative Fuels and Advanced Technology Vehicles: Issues in Congress [September 22, 2010]   [open pdf - 255KB]

"Alternative fuels and advanced technology vehicles are seen by proponents as integral to improving urban air quality, decreasing dependence on foreign oil, and reducing emissions of greenhouse gases. However, major barriers-- especially economics-- currently prevent the widespread use of these fuels and technologies. Because of these barriers, and the potential benefits, there is continued congressional interest in providing incentives and other support for their development and commercialization. [...] On February 3, 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized new rules for the renewable fuel standard (RFS) that was expanded by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA, P.L. 110-140). In 2010, the RFS will require the use of 12.95 billion gallons of ethanol and other biofuels in transportation fuel. Within that mandate, the RFS will require the use of 0.95 billion gallons of advanced biofuels, including 6.5 million gallons of cellulosic biofuels. EISA also requires that advanced biofuels (as well as conventional biofuels from newly built refineries) meet certain lifecycle greenhouse gas reduction requirements. EPA's methodology and conclusions on various biofuels' lifecycle emissions have been controversial. [...] The 111th Congress is likely to further discuss alternative fuels and advanced technology vehicles as it addresses other key topics. These include their role in any federal policy to address climate change, and their role in federal energy policy."

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CRS Report for Congress, R40168
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