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Past Event

Ten years of the Renewable Fuel Standard: What’s been the impact on energy and the environment?

Past Event

Ten years of the Renewable Fuel Standard: What’s been the impact on energy and the environment?

Ted Gayer, Bruce Babcock, Terry Dinan, Christopher Knittel, and Timothy D. Searchinger

Ten years ago, Congress established the first federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which requires that gasoline and diesel sold in the U.S. contain minimum amounts of renewable fuels, such as corn ethanol and biodiesel. The mandate was meant to spur innovation in renewable fuel use, but the Environmental Protection Agency has repeatedly used its authority to decrease the required amounts because of limited productive capacity.

On October 16 Economic Studies at Brookings convened an expert panel to discuss the effect of the RFS on prices for both fuels and food, whether the RFS is having an impact on greenhouse gas emissions, and if the statutory levels for future years are realistic or if they need to be revised further.‬‬

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Download event materials:

  • “The Pass-Through of RIN Prices to Wholesale and Retail Fuels under the Renewable Fuel Standard” (Knittel, Meiselman, and Stock, July 2015). Download the paper.
  • “The Renewable Fuel Standard: Issues for 2014 and Beyond” (Congressional Budget Office, June 2014). Download the paper.
  • “Unintended Consequences of Transportation Carbon Policies: Land-Use, Emissions, and Innovation” (Hollard, Hughes, Knittel, and Parker, November 2013).  Download the paper.
  • “Ethanol Production and Gasoline Prices: A Spurious Correlation” (Knittel and Smith, July 2012). Download the paper.
  • “Some Inconvenient Truths About Climate Change Policy: The Distributional Impacts of Transportation Policies” (Holland, Hughes, Knittel, and Parker, August 2011). Download the paper.
  • “Greenhouse Gas Benefits for Biofuels Depend on a Carbon Credit for Plant Growth”, Timothy Searchinger. Download the slides.

Agenda

Ten years of the Renewable Fuel Standard: What’s been the impact on energy and the environment?

Ten years ago, Congress established the first federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which requires that gasoline and diesel sold in the U.S. contain minimum amounts of renewable fuels, such as corn ethanol and biodiesel. What about now?

Bruce Babcock

Cargill Endowed Chair of Energy Economics and Professor - Iowa State University

T

Terry Dinan

Senior Adviser, Microeconomic Studies Division - Congressional Budget Office

Christopher Knittel

William Barton Rogers Professor of Energy Economics, Sloan School of Management - Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Timothy D. Searchinger

Research Scholar - Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University

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