President George W. Bush has signed the “Energy Independence and Security Act,” H.R. 6, establishing a significant Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS).

The energy bill calls for the use of 15 billion gallons of ethanol in the year 2015. The new RFS schedule ramps up ethanol consumption to a minimum of 9 billion gallons nationwide in 2008, progressively increasing to 36 billion gallons by 2022.

The previous RFS established by the Energy Policy Act of 2005 set the stage by establishing a market for 7.5 billion gallons by 2012. This year, ethanol production in the U.S. is expected to exceed 7 billion gallons, well ahead of schedule.

The RFS also establishes a path to cellulosic-based ethanol, biodiesel, butanol and other gasoline alternatives. And, it calls for increases in the automotive Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards up to 35 mpg by 2020, the first congressional increase since the standards were established 32 years ago.