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US President signs energy bill

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President Bush Wednesday morning signed into law the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (H.R. 6), paving the way for changes in the way America uses energy.

The US House of Representatives passed the energy bill Tuesday that will increase the renewable fuels standard (RFS) to 36 billion gallons by 2022. The bill is a companion measure to one passed in the Senate last week and includes similar provisions, such as an increase in the corporate average fuel economy standard to 35 miles per gallon by 2020. The Senate passed its version of the bill 86-8 with Democratic leadership withdrawing provisions that would roll back tax incentives to oil companies after President Bush threatened a veto of the bill.

The bill includes language aimed at renewable fuels in general and carves out only 1 billion gallons in its RFS for what it calls „biomass-based diesel.” As the mandates progress through the years between 2008 and 2022, biodiesel tops out with its 1 billion gallon mandate but is included in what the bill calls „advanced biofuel.” Under the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, the federal government will mandate the use of 9 billion gallons of „conventional biofuel” (starch-based ethanol) in 2008 and increase that standard incrementally to 12 billion gallons by 2010 and 15 billion gallons in the years 2015 through 2022 inclusive.

„Cellulosic biofuel” (primarily cellulosic ethanol) mandates begin at 100 million gallons in 2010 and slowly progress to 1 billion gallons in 2012 and 7 billion gallons by 2018. In 2022, the mandate will reach its peak at 16 billion gallons of cellulosic biofuel. An „advanced biofuel” mandate that includes those fuels in the cellulosic biofuel category reaches 2 billion gallons in 2012, 9 billion gallons in 2017 and 21 billion gallons in 2022. After reaching its 1 billion gallon mandate, biodiesel will count toward the advanced biofuel mandate. (biodieselmagazine.com)

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