A USDA Regional Roadmap to Meeting the Biofuels Goals of the Renewable Fuels Standard by 2022


The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is developing a comprehensive regional strategy to help recharge the rural American economy. The strategy targets barriers to the development of a successful biofuels market that will achieve, or surpass, the current U.S. Renewable Fuels Standards (RFS2), as set out in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA). The RFS2, implementation provisions of which are detailed in the Environmental Protection Agency's RFS2 Final Rule (March 26, 2010 Federal Register), becomes effective on July 1, 2010. The RFS2 will create new market opportunities for American agriculture to help fulfill its mandate: the American economy will be using 36 billion gallons (bg) of renewable transportation fuel per year in its transportation fuel supply by 2022.

USDA is uniquely positioned, given its detailed knowledge of the agriculture sector, to understand and support the goals of RFS2 at an agricultural regional level. When President Obama established a Biofuels Interagency Working Group (BIWG) it was intended to coordinate the federal government's efforts on the nation's first comprehensive biofuel market development program. The BIWG is using existing authorities and new policies to support the development of next-generation biofuels, increase flexible fuel vehicle use, and assist in retail marketing efforts. The Working Group is co-chaired by the Secretaries of Agriculture and Energy and the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. The BIWG brings together and engages in inter-agency policy discussions on the growing biofuels industry.

As part of that larger conversation, USDA's objectives for this report include: providing the practical knowledge from the field that can enhance various models for biofuel production, identify challenges and opportunities, and help develop solutions to this massive undertaking. In addition, USDA hopes that this report spurs discussions and is looking forward to feedback from Congress, states, industry, science, and all concerned citizens and stakeholders.