Another key area where the renewable fuel standard will have a positive impact is the nation's air quality. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimated total annual cancer cases from gasoline and its combustion products in 1995 was between 250 and 600, and ranked gasoline as the number one source of toxic emissions.
Dramatic steps have been taken to keep our air clean over the past decade, but the use of ethanol as part of a RFS will help continue to build on the recent advances.
Because ethanol is inherently cleaner than gasoline, it emits less hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide and hydrogen. Increasing the amount of ethanol used by instituting a Renewable Fuel Standard will increase the clean air benefits of ethanol.
Increased volumes of ethanol will decrease CO and ozone forming emissions, air toxics resulting from the increased use of aromatics used to replace MTBE in meeting octane requirements, and CO2 emissions. Ethanol is part of natural carbon cycle with crops, plants and trees absorbing the carbon dioxide produced by the combustion of the fuel.
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