What is the Renewable Fuel Standard?

The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), also known as ethanol mandates, is a policy that forces increasing amounts of biofuels into the U.S. fuel supply. Every year, the EPA — the agency in charge of administering the policy — decides how much biofuel has to be blended that year by setting an annual target.

Why was the RFS enacted?

Congress enacted the ethanol mandates (RFS) in 2005 and then aggressively expanded them in 2007 with the hopes that turning corn into fuel, in place of regular gasoline, would expand the nation’s renewable fuels sector, help the environment, and reduce reliance on imported oil.

Why should I care?

Because it’s raising gas prices.

Ethanol mandates hurt drivers. Almost all of the gasoline sold in the United States today contains 10 percent ethanol (E10), which contains a third less energy than gasoline. As a result, each gallon of gasoline delivers lower mileage, forcing drivers to spend more money on fuel by the mile.

Because it’s ruining your engines.

And if that doesn’t burn a hole in your wallet, higher ethanol blends — like gasoline containing 15 percent ethanol (E15) — can wreak havoc on engines by causing corrosion, rubber swelling and other damages. The risk is so high that 13 major manufacturers, including General Motors, Ford, Toyota, Chrysler and Honda — the top five best-selling automakers in the America — warn that their warranties won’t cover damages related to E15 use, potentially leaving consumers high and dry with costly repairs.

How can I help?

Ethanol mandates were created by Congress, and we won’t have a permanent solution until Congress cleans up the mess it created. Click here to tell your elected officials that you’ve had enough, and it’s time to fix this broken policy.

Want to get even more involved? Visit our Action Center to find all the ways you can help to get this broken policy fixed for good.