Saturday, May 16, 2009

EPA Proposes Rule for Renewable Fuel Standard


1. EPA: Environmental Protection Agency

"The EPA is proactive when it comes to protecting the environment"
2. Poised: adj.
1.1. Assured; composed.
"She stood poised for the jump"

3. Bolster: tr.v., -stered, -ster·ing, -sters.
3.1. To support or prop up with or as if with a long narrow pillow or cushion.
"The new economical measures will bolster the country's economy"

4. Cellulosic Biofuels: is a biofuel produced from wood, grasses, or the non-edible parts of plants. According to U.S. Department of Energy studies conducted by the Argonne Laboratories of the University of Chicago, one of the benefits of cellulosic ethanol is that it reduces greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by 85% over reformulated gasoline. By contrast, starch ethanol (e.g., from corn), which most frequently uses natural gas to provide energy for the process, may not reduce GHG emissions at all depending on how the starch-based feedstock is produced. A study by Nobel Prize winner Paul Crutzen found ethanol produced from corn, and sugarcane had a "net climate warming" effect when compared to oil.

5. Yeoman's work:
5.1. An attendant, servant, or lesser official in a royal or noble household.
5.2. A yeoman of the guard.
5.3. A petty officer performing chiefly clerical duties in the U.S. Navy.
5.4. An assistant or other subordinate, as of a sheriff.
5.5. A diligent, dependable worker.
5.6.A farmer who cultivates his own land, especially a member of a former class of small freeholders in England.

6. RFS: Renewable Fuels Standard.

7. Lifecycle: Refers to the greenhouse gas emissions over the life of the fuels.

8. Biomass-based diesel:
8.1. The total mass of living matter within a given unit of environmental area.
8.2. Plant material, vegetation, or agricultural waste used as a fuel or energy source.


The EPA proposed a new renewable fuel standard that may ultimately prohibit some corn ethanol production processes because of their level of greenhouse gas emissions.

The goal of the standard is to bolster the nation's supply of renewable fuels, poised to reach 36 billion gallons by 2022, as mandated by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.

The EPA proposal spells out two different emission scenarios for a range of biofuels and production methods. One scenario generally favors the ethanol industry, while the other would prohibit all but one corn ethanol production process but accelerate alternatives such as cellulosic biofuels. The EPA has done yeoman's work in developing the framework upon which the expanded Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) will be implemented," Its success is considered very important to the nations economic, environmental and energetic resources.

One source of controversy is how projected land-use change and its environmental impact should figure in setting renewable fuel policy.

The EPA said the Energy Independence and Security Act will establish four categories of renewable fuels: cellulosic biofuels, biomass-based diesel, advanced biofuels and total renewable fuel. In 2022, the proposal would require 16 billion gallons of cellulosic biofuels, 15 billion gallons annually of conventional biofuels, 4 billion gallons of advanced biofuels and 1 billion gallons of biomass-based diesel.

To be considered an advanced biofuel, the fuel type must have greenhouse gas emissions that are at least 50 percent lower than those associated with ordinary gasoline. New biofuel plants must produce fuels with emissions that are at least 20 percent lower.

To read the full article click here:


  1. Hi Carolina,

    I work for an organization called Global Justice Ecology Project that was founded to protect forests around the world and to work on behalf of the indigenous peoples and other communities that depend on forests for their survival. In addition, there are millions of species of plants and animals that depend on forests.

    I am writing about this posting to give you some additional information on biofuels and especially on cellulosic ethanol. Please check out our website at and you will find a report that will give you a great deal of information about cellulosic ethanol and the dangers it poses to people and wildlife.

    Thanks for being interested in such an important issue.

    Anne Petermann

  2. Hello Ann!

    Thank you so much for making me aware of the Global Justice Ecology Project. I will definately check it out and see what is all about.

    Although Ethanol is big bussiness nowdays, we have to really think of the future and if this is really the way to go OR IF there are other ways to produce energy that are better. As we think of the environment, we need to make sure that we are not taking resources that would go to actually FEED the peoples of the world and therefore cause great world hunge. So much production of corn or beans for example, would deplead the soil overtime. How long can the soil handle such great amounts of crops? The soil actually needs time to "recover".

    As I read and learn about this issues, I can't help but have a critical mind.

    Thank you for dropping by, let's keep in touch.

    PS. Are you a teacher from EFL university?