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4/11/2007



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

EPA's renewable fuel program to energize railroads' ethanol, biofuels traffic



U.S. railroads can count on ethanol and biofuels traffic to continue increasing the next five years. Yesterday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it established the nation’s first comprehensive Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program, which calls for more dependence on ethanol and biofuels and less reliance on foreign oil.

Authorized by the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the RFS program requires gasoline producers to blend at least 7.5 billion gallons of renewable fuels into motor vehicle gas by 2012. The program also requires refiners, blenders and importers to use a minimum volume of renewable fuels each year between 2007 and 2012. This year, 4.7 billion gallons — or 4 percent of all fuel sold or dispensed to U.S. motorists — will need to be blended with ethanol, biofuels or other renewable fuel sources.

The program is the first step toward meeting President Bush’s call to reduce gasoline consumption 20 percent within 10 years by increasing renewable and alternative fuel usage to 35 billion gallons, EPA officials said in a prepared statement.

U.S. railroads currently move about 75 percent of all ethanol-related traffic, including inbound materials, and outbound ethanol, distillers grains and other byproducts.


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