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USA: CARB Modifies Low Carbon Fuel Standard

USA: CARB Modifies Low Carbon Fuel Standard

With the aim to make a more versatile, comprehensive tool in the fight against climate change, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) has certified changes to the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS).

Prompting innovation in low-carbon transportation fuels such as hydrogen, electricity and biodiesel, the LCFS, since 2011 has been a cornerstone of California’s effort to reduce greenhouse gas (GHGs) emissions. The LCFS, last year resulted in more than two billion gallons of conventional fuel and natural gas being replaced with cleaner, renewable transportation fuels.

10 percent reduction in the “carbon intensity” of California’s transportation fuels is currently required by the standard by 2020. A 20 percent reduction in carbon intensity by 2030 is required by the amendments approved today by the Board, which is the most stringent requirement in the nation.

Board Chair Mary D. Nichols, said, “These amendments will take California’s climate fight up another notch. The addition of credits for alternative aviation fuels makes the program more flexible and adds a major source of potential greenhouse gas reductions. Using some of the credits to give a new car buyer a break on electric transportation will provide a clear incentive for zero emission vehicle sales and infrastructure, as requested by the legislature and Governor Brown.”

Using a system of trade able credits, the LCFS program is implemented, each of which is equivalent to one metric ton of carbon producers of cleaner fuels generate credits and can be sold to producers whose product will not meet the program’s declining benchmark for carbon intensity.

The most stringent regulatory protocol in the country has been put in place by the recent CARB vote to set requirements for carbon capture and storage (CCS). Collection of carbon emissions before they reach the atmosphere and injecting them into permanent underground storage sites is known as CCS. About two percent of the world’s GHG emissions are released by the international aviation market.

Part of a comprehensive set of programs that California depends on to reduce carbon emissions and fight climate change is the LCFS. PWKD08102018

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