CA's Low Carbon Fuel Standard Regulation Is Approved

CA's Air Resources Board approved another 'first' - a low carbon fuel standard that will play a key role in meeting the state's aggressive climate action plan by reducing the carbon intensity of transportation fuels. Winners and losers are created.

"California's Air Resources Board on Thursday approved (9-1) a first-in-the-world regulation to minimize the amount of carbon in fuel, putting California on the cutting edge of promoting alternative fuels in a bid to combat global warming.

The regulation will require fuel manufacturers to cut the so-called carbon intensity of fuels sold in the state 10 percent by 2020.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger initiated the process for the standard with an executive order in 2007.

Manufacturers can meet the standard by selling a mix of fuels, selling all low-carbon fuels or using credits that can be both bought and earned from the state if they exceed the limitations. Alternative fuels include electricity, natural gas, biofuel from food products and fuel from algae, among others.

At the all-day public hearing before the vote, backers of corn-based ethanol criticized the regulation because it counts - as part of the carbon intensity - the indirect effects of manufacturing the fuel. With corn-based ethanol, that means counting the impact of creating new crop land when existing land is converted to growing corn for fuel instead of food.

Representatives of big oil companies were split on the proposal, with Chevron supporting, BP neutral and Tesoro opposing. Large utilities, including PG&E and Southern California Edison, expressed strong support, along with scientific, health and environmental advocacy organizations."

Thanks to MTC-ABAG Library

Full Story: Air Resources Board moves to cut carbon use

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Irvin Dawid's picture
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ARB eyes ‘indirect land use’ in low carbon fuel standard

Capitol Weekly reports the 'next step' by ARB now that they have approved this landmark regulation.

"State air-quality regulators are likely to vote by December on the issue known as “indirect land use.”

"The “cradle-to-grave” approach (for example, for ethanol) means considering the emissions from the processes used to grow the corn the fertilizer manufacturing, the emissions for trucking and tractors, processing costs are taken into account when calculating the total carbon emissions associated with ethanol...."
Irvin Dawid, Palo Alto, CA

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