Ontario seeks comments on proposed RFS for gasoline

By Erin Voegele | February 07, 2017

Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change has proposed establishing a renewable fuel standard (RFS) for gasoline that aims to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from gasoline by 5 percent by 2020. A discussion paper on the proposal was released in January. Comments are due March 12.

A notice posted to Ontario’s Environmental Registry website explains that the province’s new Climate Change Mitigation and Low-Carbon Economy Act commits to reducing GHGs by 15 percent by 2020, 37 percent by 2030 and 80 percent by 2050, relative to a 1990 baseline level.

This Ontario Climate Action Plan commits to implementing an RFS for gasoline that would reduce GHG emissions from gasoline by 5 percent. The notice indicates Ontario will not lower the level of existing renewable fuel content required under its Ethanol in Gasoline regulation, which requires gasoline to be contain a minimum of 5 percent ethanol. In addition, existing requirements contained in its Greener Diesel will remain unchanged.

According to the discussion paper, the transportation sector accounted for approximately one-third of Ontario’s GHG emissions in 2014, reaching approximately 56 million metric tons. Although Ontario’s overall emissions fell by 6 percent between 1990 and 2014, the discussion paper notes that emissions from the transportation sector grew by 27 percent over that time period.

Corn, sugarcane and wheat ethanol are listed as among fuels that could help meet RFS requirements, along with electricity, natural gas, renewable gasoline, renewable natural gas, cellulosic ethanol and hydrogen.

Ontario is specifically seeking input on a variety of program elements, including targets and blending requirements, flexibility mechanisms, assessing lifecycle emissions, and transparency.

Additional information, including a copy of the discussion paper, is available on the Ontario Environmental Registry website