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CARB Adopts Low-Carbon Fuel Standard

April 23, 2009

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The California Air Resources Board Thursday adopted a regulation that will implement Gov. Schwarzenegger's Low Carbon Fuel Standard calling for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from California's transportation fuels by 10 percent by 2020.


The new regulation is aimed at diversifying the variety of fuels used for transportation. It will boost the market for alternative-fuel vehicles and achieve 16 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emission reductions by 2020.

The new standard will count all the emissions required to deliver gasoline and diesel to California consumers, reports the Associated Press, including activities such as drilling new oil wells, planting corn, and delivering fuel to retail locations. The regulation requires providers, refiners, importers and blenders to ensure that the fuels they provide for the California market meet an average declining standard of "carbon intensity."

California is also providing funding to assist in the early development and deployment of the most promising low-carbon fuels.

Wednesday, the American Trucking Associations filed comments with CARB, asking the agency to delay implementation of its proposed low carbon fuel standard and to embrace a national solution to reducing the carbon intensity of transportation fuels.

ATA pointed out that the California plan could actually increase carbon emissions by forcing biofuels produced under the federal renewable fuel standard to be transported to California for consumption rather than being consumed close to where they are produced.

ATA also raised concerns over the costs of the proposed standard and the challenges that high percentage biodiesel blends and natural gas alternatives create for the trucking industry.

The petroleum industry also asked CARB to delay their decision, warning that the state may be moving too quickly, and that the alternative fuels that would be required under the proposal might not be available in the quantities needed.

The impetus for this development goes back to January 2007, when in his State of the State address, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger established a Low-Carbon Fuel Standard by Executive Order. That order directed the Secretary for Environmental Protection to coordinate the actions of the California Energy Commission, CARB, the University of California and other agencies to develop the protocols for measuring the "life-cycle carbon intensity" of transportation fuels.

More info: http://www.energy.ca.gov/low_carbon_fuel_standard/index.html

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