Assessment of Biofuels Policy: Effectiveness of Emissions Reductions

Date: June 14, 2022 PDF: 3 MB

We all know that the road to decarbonization is a long one and, despite the introduction of new vehicle technologies that promise to dramatically reduce carbon emissions, the reality is that we are going to be driving combustion engines and burning liquid fuels for decades and we must pay careful attention to this sector of the market.  

Biofuels have an opportunity to reduce the carbon intensity of liquid fuels and they must be part of the decarbonization strategy. The U.S. has more than 270 million combustion engine vehicles on the road right now. They need a lower carbon fuel option and biofuels represent the most immediate and viable option.  

Our latest white paper, “Assessment of Biofuels Policy: Effectiveness of Emissions Reductions,” explores the carbon benefits to using biofuels. This paper looks at fuel ethanol, biodiesel, renewable diesel and gasoline, hydrogen and R80B20, plus evaluating the policies that affect these fuels, the availability of feedstocks to expand their market share and the vehicle and infrastructure capabilities of accommodating such an expansion. 

The paper presents the challenges we have in settling on a global, common method for evaluating life cycle carbon emission. It also addresses the current and proposed policy environment and associated costs, demonstrating that we have policies designed to encourage the use of these fuels that conflict with policies that are designed to limit the use of these fuels. This paper sets up the discussion about how we harmonize our policy approach so that we can take advantage of low carbon options that exist today or plan for those that are on the cusp of being viable.  

The paper is just the tip of the iceberg. We hope jump starts the conversation about finding an answer to carbon emissions from all vehicles, not just new vehicles equipped with different technology. We need to have serious discussions about how we harmonize our policy approach to take advantage of low carbon options that exist today or that are on the cusp of being viable. After all, liquid fuels are not going away, and a carbon molecule emitted today still impacts the environment 20 years from now.  

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