Renewable diesel net supply to California’s fuel market has increased since the state’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) program went into effect in 2011, reaching 100 million gallons during the second quarter of 2018, or 10.1% of the total diesel supplied to California that quarter, according to the US Energy... Read more →


CARB extends Low Carbon Fuel Standard by 10 years, doubles the intensity reduction target to 20%

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) voted to extend the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) by ten years to 2030 and to double the program’s carbon intensity reductions target from 10 to 20 percent. Under the LCFS, petroleum refineries and fuel importers must gradually reduce the average carbon intensity of... Read more →


The 2017 Compliance Report for the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) shows 100% compliance with the regulation. The program considers greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions at all stages of production of a fuel, from pump or field to wheel. It was originally developed to support a return to 1990 levels of... Read more →


CARB cracks down on Low Carbon Fuel Standard violators; $785K in penalties for three companies

Three energy companies have agreed to fines totaling $785,000 following investigations by the California Air Resources Board (CARB). All three companies violated provisions of the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS). SK Energy Americas agreed to a $395,000 penalty for failure to meet the carbon intensity target for 2014. Alon USA... Read more →


California can reduce carbon emissions by more than 70 million metric tons by 2030—akin to taking 15 million gasoline-powered cars off the road in one year—by adopting a higher target for its Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS), according to an analysis released by the UK-based research firm Cerulogy. The analysis... Read more →


155 businesses and industry groups send letter of support for California LCFS in current and possibly more stringent future forms

As California policymakers consider options to extend the state’s landmark climate change laws to 2030 and beyond, 155 businesses and industry groups sent a letter to California Governor Jerry Brown, Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León, and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon in support of the California Low Carbon Fuel... Read more →


California ARB releases four new LCFS pathways for renewable diesel; 20.28 - 53.86 gCO2e/MJ

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) staff has released for public comment four new Tier 2 renewable diesel (RD) pathways using soy oil, used cooking oil, tallow, and corn oil at the Diamond Green facility in St. Charles, Louisiana. Diamond Green Diesel (DGD) uses the... Read more →


California ARB releases proposed new plan to cut 2030 GHG by 40% v. 1990; more stringent LCFS, more ZEVs

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) released the proposed scoping plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% below 1990 levels by 2030—the most ambitious target in North America. (Earlier post.) The plan builds on the state’s efforts to reduce emissions and outlines the most effective ways to reach the... Read more →


Government of Canada to work with provinces, territories, and stakeholders to develop a clean fuel standard

The Government of Canada will consult with provinces and territories, Indigenous peoples, industries, and non-governmental organizations to develop a clean fuel standard. The standard would require reductions in the carbon footprint of the fuels supplied in Canada, based on lifecycle analysis. The overall objective of a clean fuel standard would... Read more →


BC government unveils climate plan

The government of British Columbia recently unveiled its Climate Leadership Plan, targeting the reduction of net annual greenhouse gas emissions by up to 25 million tonnes below current forecasts by 2050 and the creation of up to 66,000 jobs over the next ten years. BC’s target is to reduce 2050... Read more →


CALSTART brief highlights growth of and future opportunity for California’s clean transportation technology industry

A new CALSTART brief indicates that California’s climate and energy policies are not only helping to protect the environment and improve air quality, but are also helping to accelerate growth of the clean transportation technology industry (CTTI) in the state. The paper, “California’s Clean Transportation Technology Industry: Time to Shift... Read more →


Global companies form below50 to scale up low-carbon sustainable fuels; Audi in from automotive sector

Global companies are partnering with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), Roundtable for Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) and Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) in a new global initiative called below50, to promote the best-of-breed of sustainable fuels that can achieve significant carbon reductions, and to scale-up their development and... Read more →


California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard compliance rate is 98%

The California Air Resources Board’s report on the state of the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) program for the compliance year 2015 indicates a compliance rate of 98%, with a total of 5.49 million credits generated in the year. These credits are roughly the same as removing 1 million cars... Read more →


Report: Ontario targeting 5% EV share of all new vehicles sold by 2020, 12% by 2025 as part of C$7B climate plan

Canada’s Globe and Mail reports that as part of a more C$7-billion (US$5.4-billion), 4-year climate change plan, the Ontario government will invest C$285 million (US$221 million) in electric vehicle incentives; implement lower carbon fuel standards; and invest C$280 million (US$217 million) to help school boards buy electric buses and trucking... Read more →


The staff of the California Air Resources Board (ARB) released the first full set of carbon intensity (CI) pathways certified under the readopted LCFS regulation using the CA-GREET 2.0 model. (Earlier post.) These pathways include both new applications and requests to have “legacy” pathways (adopted under the prior LCFS rule)... Read more →


Tesoro to support development of renewable biocrude for its refineries; Fulcrum, Virent, Ensyn partners

Tesoro Corporation plans to foster the development of biocrude, made from renewable biomass, which can be co-processed in its existing refineries along with conventional fossil crude oil to produce lower-carbon drop-in fuels. Tesoro expects that converting renewable biomass into biocrude will enable existing refining assets to produce fuels with lower... Read more →


Hydrogen from biomethane; gasoline & diesel from tree residue; cellulosic ethanol among new proposed California LCFS fuel pathways

California Air Resources Board (ARB) staff posted 32 new Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) fuel pathway applications for comments at the LCFS website. Among the multiple applications for different processing pathways of corn or sorghum ethanol are four pathways from LytEn for hydrogen produced from biomethane; four pathways for renewable... Read more →


AC Transit files LCFS pathway application for H2 produced by electrolysis (solar): 0.00 gCO2e/MJ

AC Transit (Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District), which operates the third-largest public bus system in California, has filed a fuel pathway application for gaseous hydrogen produced via electrolysis powered by renewable electricity (solar) with the California Air Resources Board (ARB) under the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) regulation. According to AC... Read more →


California Air Resources Board readopts Low Carbon Fuel Standard, adopts regulation on alternative diesel fuels

The Air Resources Board re-adopted a Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS), which requires a 10% reduction by 2020 in the carbon intensity of transportation fuels. The program requires that transportation fuels used in California meet a baseline target for carbon intensity which is reduced each year. The Board also adopted... Read more →


New LCFS pathway applications show Abengoa cellulosic ethanol with CI of 29.52 and 23.36 g CO2e/MJ

California Air Resources Board (ARB) staff has posted thirteen new Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) fuel pathway applications to the LCFS public comments website. Among them are two pathways for cellulosic ethanol produced by Abengoa Bioenergy at its Hugoton, Kansas plant. One pathway uses corn stover for feedstock, the other... Read more →


California ARB issues feedstock-only pathway for camelina-based fuels under LCFS; zero ILUC emissions results in very low CI fuels

The California Air Resources Board has issued Sustainable Oils Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Global Clean Energy Holdings, a feedstock-only pathway for the production of camelina-based fuels under the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS). The feedstock-only CI (carbon intensity) is 7.58 gCO2e/MJ. A feedstock-only pathway allows a fuel producer... Read more →


Fuel carbon intensity reduction from 2015-2030 from fuel deployment scenarios for the Pacific Coast region. Source: ICCT. Click to enlarge. A new study from the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) and E4tech finds that the targets adopted or proposed by British Columbia, California, Oregon, and Washington to reduce the... Read more →


Neste Oil seeking California LCFS approval for gutter oil to renewable diesel pathway

Among four new California Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) fuel pathway applications is a used cooking oil (gutter oil) to renewable diesel (NExBTL) pathway from Neste Oil at its Singapore plant. (Boeing and COMAC are opening a demonstration facility in China to convert gutter oil to renewable aviation fuel. Earlier... Read more →


Oregon DEQ seeking public comments on implementing Low Carbon Fuel Standard before sunset in 2015

Oregon’s Department on Environmental Quality (DEQ) is inviting public comment on a proposed rulemaking that would fully implement Oregon’s low carbon fuel standard (LCFS). (Earlier post.) The first phase required Oregon producers and importers of fuels to register with DEQ, keep records and submit reports about the fuels they currently... Read more →


ARB: carbon intensity of biomethane from wastewater sludge could be as low as -65.27 g CO2e/MJ

The staff of the California Air Resources Board (ARB) staff has posted three new Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) fuel pathway applications to the LCFS public comments website: one for corn ethanol (from Heartland Corn Products in Minnesota) and one ARB staff-developed pathway (with two scenarios) for the production of... Read more →


California ARB staff posts concept paper on re-adoption and modification of LCFS; possible more stringent post-2020 targets

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) staff has posted a Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) Re-Adoption Concept Paper, which will be discussed during the LCFS workshop on 11 March 2014. The LCFS regulation mandates a 10% reduction in the carbon intensity (CI) of transportation fuels used in California by 2020.... Read more →


UC Davis report finds LCFS compliance costs may rise rapidly; recommends offsetting measures

A recent report prepared by UC Davis researchers for the California Air Resources Board (ARB) found that compliance costs for the Low Carbon Fuels Standard (LCFS) may increase rapidly in the future if there are large differences in marginal costs between traditional fossil fuels and alternative, low-carbon-intensity fuels; or if... Read more →


Minor changes to an existing Federal tax incentive for second-generation biofuels (i.e., biofuel made from cellulose, algae, duckweed, or cyanobacteria) could mitigate the current elevated risk of investing in the industry that is retarding its advance, according to a new paper by a team from the International Council on Clean... Read more →


ARB posts six new LCFS pathway applications for comment; new PFAD biodiesel approach

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) staff has posted six new Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) pathway applications to the LCFS public comment web site: corn ethanol; molasses ethanol (from Brazil); palm fatty acid distillates (PFAD) to biodiesel; and landfill gas to LNG, L-CNG, and CNG. The LCFS requires oil... Read more →


Annual balance of LCFS credits and deficits for Scenario 1. Each colored stacked bar represents credits generated via low carbon fuels; the red line represents the deficits from forecasted CARBOB and ultra low sulfur diesel (ULSD) consumption. Click to enlarge. The requirements of the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS)... Read more →


Continued LCFS compliance will require continued reductions in CIs. Net credits generated is the number of credits or deficits generated in each period; banked credits after compliance is the number of excess credits banked from the current or previous compliance years. Source: Yeh et al. Click to enlarge. According to... Read more →


California ARB considering four new low-carbon fuel pathways; Neste renewable diesel and sugarcane molasses ethanol

California Air Resources Board (ARB) staff has posted four new Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) pathways to the LCFS web site. (Earlier post.) Among the new pathways to be considered is the production of renewable diesel from Australian tallow at Neste Oil’s Singapore plant. Others are sugarcane molasses ethanol from... Read more →


First status review of California LCFS finds regulated parties exceeding the standard; compliance production cost about 0.1 cents/gallon

A status review of California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) (earlier post) for the period of 2011 and the first quarter of 2012 by Dr. Sonia Yeh at the Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis and Julie Witcover found that regulated parties in the LCFS—i.e., oil producers and importers to... Read more →


Vehicle efficiency improvements via effective standards and policies could reduce annual CO2 e emissions from the US, China, and the EU by 1.3 Gt at a savings of about $135 billion per year by 2030. Source: McKinsey & Co., ICCT-ClimateWorks. Click to enlarge. The US, China, and the EU could... Read more →


National Low Carbon Fuel Standard study releases major Technical Analysis and Policy Design reports; providing a scientific basis for policy decisions

The National Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) Project has released two major reports that synthesize its findings from the past several years of work: a Technical Analysis Report (TAR) and Policy Design Recommendations. The primary objectives of the National Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) Study were to (1) compare an... Read more →


Study concludes permanent loss of peatlands in open-pit oil sands mining adds significantly to carbon burden of oil sands production

Researchers at the University of Alberta (Canada) have quantified the transformation of the boreal landscape by open-pit oil sands mining in Alberta, Canada to evaluate its effect on carbon storage and sequestration. Their analysis suggests that carbon storage loss caused by peatland conversion could be equivalent to as much as... Read more →


US District Court denies California Air Resources Board motion to stay injunction of enforcement of Low Carbon Fuel Standard; outcome relies on appeal

In an order issued 23 January, US District Court Judge Lawrence O’Neill denied a motion filed by the California Air Resources Board (ARB) to stay the injunction on the enforcement of the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) he had ordered in the earlier decisions of 29 December 2011 while ARB... Read more →


California Energy Commission soliciting proposals for new California-based low-carbon biofuel production facilities; about $37M available for awards

The California Energy Commission is seeking proposals to provide funding for the development of new, California-based biofuel production facilities that can sustainably produce low carbon transportation fuels. (Program Opportunity Notice (PON-11-601) About $37 million dollars will be available under this solicitation. The intent of this solicitation is to encourage production... Read more →


California ARB witholding enforcement of LCFS post Federal Court injunction; appealing and seeking stay of injunction; Judge O’Neill’s 3 rulings

On Thursday (29 December 2011), Judge Lawrence O’Neill of the US District Court for the Eastern District of California issued three separate rulings in a set of federal lawsuits challenging the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) (Rocky Mountain Farmers Union et al v. Goldstene). (Earlier post.) One of the court’s... Read more →


Federal Judge rules California Low Carbon Fuel Standard violates Commerce Clause of US Constitution

Federal District Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill, Eastern District of California, ruled on Thursday that the State of California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) program is in violation of the Commerce Clause of the US Constitution and issued an injunction prohibiting its enforcement. (Earlier post.) The LCFS intends to reduce, on... Read more →


Harmonizing Low Carbon Fuel Standards

In a draft of the first Review Report for the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS), the staff of the California Air Resources Board (ARB) notes that the harmonization of LCFS programs globally will be important “for ensuring that global GHG emission reductions actually result from these programs”. Harmonizing LCFS... Read more →


California ARB considering amendments to Low Carbon Fuel Standard; handling high carbon-intensity crude oil (HCICO)

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) will consider at its December 2011 meeting amendments to the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) regulation. The LCFS intends to reduce, on a full-fuel lifecycle basis, the carbon intensity (CI) of transportation fuels (measured in gCO2e/MJ) used in California by an average of 10%... Read more →


Study finds renewable fuel mandates alone not likely to lower carbon intensity of biofuels; the importance of localized LCAs and optimized low carbon fuel standards

A new lifecycle analysis (LCA) by a team from the University of of Cambridge (UK), the Great Plains Institute, and the University of Minnesota suggests that renewable fuel mandates such as those currently enacted by 12 states are not likely to lower the emissions of biofuels unless they provide a... Read more →


Current reported CI for ethanol plants. Gasoline baseline of 95.86 g CO2e/MJ highlighted in red for comparison. Data: California ARB. Click to enlarge. The California Air Resources Board (ARB) staff has updated carbon intensities (CIs) and other information about registered biorefineries, and posted the information at the Low Carbon Fuel... Read more →


California ARB formally considers 28 proposed new lower-carbon transportation fuel pathways

The California Air Resources Board formally considered the first 28 proposals for new ways to make low carbon transportation fuels under California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS). (Earlier post.) Data related to the manufacture and production of the proposed fuels were presented by staff to ARB Executive Officer James Goldstene... Read more →


Refiners and Truckers Associations Challenge California LCFS in Federal Court

The National Petrochemical & Refiners Association (NPRA) filed a legal challenge to California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) with the US District Court, Eastern District of California, Fresno Division. NPRA was joined in the suit by the American Trucking Associations (ATA); the Center for North American Energy Security, an organization... Read more →


Governors of 11 Northeast and Mid-Atlantic States Agree to Work Together Toward Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Fuels; Timeline for Developing a Potential Low Carbon Fuel Standard for Region

Governors of 11 Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states signed a Memorandum of Understanding that commits their states to continued participation in a regional effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from fuels for vehicles and other uses. (Earlier post.) A LCFS (Low Carbon Fuel Standard) program is a market-based, fuel-neutral program to... Read more →


Well-to-wheels vehicle emissions (gCO2 equiv.km-1) by energy source, vehicle energy intensity (MJkm-1), and fuel carbon intensity (gCO2 equiv. MJ-1) by vehicle pathway and timing profile. Source: McCarthy et al.Click to enlarge. A study by researchers at the UC Davis Institute of Transportation Studies suggests that the near-term marginal electricity mix... Read more →


New Study Suggests Sustainability Principles for California Low Carbon Fuel Standard

The Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) adopted by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) earlier this year (earlier post) requires a 10% reduction in the average greenhouse gas (GHG) emission intensity of the state’s transportation fuels by 2020. The regulation also levies the calculation of Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC)... Read more →


Discussion Paper Suggests Mechanisms for Addressing Biofuel GHG Emissions Under Cap-and-Trade Schemes; Avoiding the “Renewability Shortcut” and Moving Toward Carbon Management for All Transportation Fuels

Including biofuels under a cap-and-trade scheme could create a more complete carbon management framework for the transportation fuels sector, according to a new peer-reviewed discussion paper by Dr. John DeCicco. DeCicco, formerly on staff at the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), is now a Senior Lecturer at the University of Michigan’s... Read more →