Oregon State Senate rejects measure removing sunset of state’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard; shutdown in 2015
The Oregon State Senate has rejected SB 488, a measure that would have repealed the sunset on provisions of the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) in the state in 2015. The sunset will shut down the LCFS program.
The low carbon fuel standard (Clean Fuels Program, HB 2186) was adopted in 2009 (earlier post), with a sunset provision in 2015. Like the LCFS in California, the Oregon LCFS targets a 10% reduction in the carbon intensity of vehicle fuels by 2025.
The sunset provision was inserted to provide legislative oversight over the LCFS and provide a way to halt the program if development of the LCFS was deemed infeasible.
The Oregon LCFS is currently being implemented in two phases. Phase one—the administrative portion of the clean fuels program—is being implemented now with existing resources in the Department of Environmental Quality’s (DEQ’s) budget. The second phase—which would have begun if the sunset provisions had been removed—is the carbon reduction phase.
Had the sunset been removed, before beginning implementation, DEQ would have to first develop a new economic analysis, evaluate data from phase one and conduct a stakeholder process. Once that information was available, the Environmental Quality Commission would then have decided what processes and resources would be needed to implement phase two of the low carbon fuel standards.
DEQ will still continue to implement the program until 2015. Environmental advocacy group Clean Fuels Now said that it is committed to having the sunset lifted in the 2014 legislative session if the vote on SB 488 is not reversed this session.
Opponents of the Oregon LCFS approved of the Senate’s action.