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 →


The LCFS is an important component in California’s effort to reduce transportation GHG. Source: ARB. Click to enlarge. At its meeting on Thursday, the California Air Resources Board adopted a regulation that will implement Governor Schwarzenegger’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (earlier post) calling for at least a 10% reduction from... Read more →


Group of Scientists and Economists Urge Inclusion of Indirect Land Use Change Effects for Biofuels and All Transportation Fuels in California LCFS

More than 170 scientists and economists have sent a letter to California Air Resources Board (ARB) Chairman Mary Nichols urging the board to account for greenhouse gas emissions from indirect land use change for biofuels and all other transportation fuels under the state’s proposed low carbon fuel standard (LCFS). The... Read more →


House Chairmen Waxman, Markey Release Draft of Energy and Climate Legislation; Among the Many Provisions Are Cap-and-Trade, Harmonization of CAFE and California Vehicle Regulations, and Low Carbon Fuel Standard

Chairman Henry A. Waxman of the Energy and Commerce Committee and Chairman Edward J. Markey of the Energy and Environment Subcommittee on Tuesday released a draft of far-reaching energy and climate legislation that targets job creation, promotes renewables and energy efficiency, and places limits on emissions of greenhouse gases. The... Read more →


California Air Resources Board Releases Proposed Regulation for Low Carbon Fuel Standard

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) released its proposed regulation to implement the Low Carbon Fuel Standard. The release of the proposed regulation allows 45 days for the public to review the language and provide comment before the item is considered at the 23 April 23 ARB hearing. The regulation... Read more →


Eleven Northeast and Mid-Atlantic States to Develop Regional Low Carbon Fuel Standard

Eleven Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states will cooperate to develop a regional Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS). The 11 states—the 10 members of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) plus Pennsylvania—will work together to create an emissions-performance standard that will eventually provide incentives for energy providers to use lower-carbon fuels. In... Read more →


Biofuel Companies Question ARB’s Inclusion of Indirect Effects in Low Carbon Fuel Standard

More than two-dozen advanced biofuel companies, joined by researchers and investors under the aegis of the New Fuels Alliance, submitted a letter to the California Air Resources Board (ARB) questioning ARB’s intent to include indirect land use change (ILUC)—or any kind of indirect effects enforcement against biofuels—as part of the... Read more →


California ARB Posts Draft Regulation for Low Carbon Fuel Standard

Proposed compliance schedule for gasoline and diesel fuels and substitutes. Click to enlarge. The staff of the California Air Resources Board has posted the Draft Regulation for the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) which contains the latest staff proposals on the regulatory approach following the March 2008 concept outline.... Read more →


California ARB Releases Discussion Outline of Low Carbon Fuel Standard Regulation

Sample compliance schedule for gasoline and diesel. The diesel carbon intensity values are adjusted by the vehicle efficiency factor. Click to enlarge. The staff of the California Air Resources Board (ARB) has released the Proposed Concept Outline for the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard Regulation as part of the process... Read more →


UC Experts Make 22 Policy Recommendations for Implementation of Low Carbon Fuel Standard

Illustrative compliance paths for the LCFS. The report recommends either the Technology Forcing or Accelerated compliance paths. Click to enlarge. The California Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) should apply to all gasoline and diesel used in California for transportation, including freight and off-road applications, according to experts at the University... Read more →


California and British Columbia Ally to Fight Global Warming; BC to Adopt California Low-Carbon Fuel Standard

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the state of California and the Canadian Province of British Columbia to fight global warming. The agreement outlines key actions that California and British Columbia will take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The... Read more →


California Governor and Ontario Premier Sign MoU on Climate Change; Coordinating on Low-Carbon Fuel Standard

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty today signed a Memorandum of Understanding on climate change. Under the accord, Ontario and California will partner to fight global warming by coordinating policies on low-carbon fuel standards. Ontario will require producers to reduce carbon emissions from transportation fuels by 10%... Read more →


ARB Posts Draft Technical Analysis for California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard; Ambitious, But Achievable

Production costs and GHG emissions for fossil hydrocarbon fuels. Click to enlarge. The California Air Resources Board has posted a draft technical analysis produced by the University of California in response to the governor’s Executive Order S-1-07, the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS). (Earlier post.) An initial goal of the... Read more →


Obama Proposes National Low Carbon Fuel Standard

US Senator Barack Obama is proposing a National Low Carbon Fuel Standard (NLCFS) based on the California LCFS established by California Governor Schwarzenegger in January 2007. (Earlier post.) Obama’s proposal would require that all transportation fuels sold in the US contain 5% less carbon by 2015 and 10% less carbon... Read more →


European Commission Proposes Lower Carbon Fuel Standards

The European Commission today proposed new standards for transport fuels that, among other measures, require suppliers to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions caused by the production, transport and use of their fuels by 10% between 2011 and 2020. This life-cycle based approach to lower carbon fuels echoes the new California... Read more →


California Governor Orders Low Carbon Standard for Transportation Fuels; 10% GHG Reduction on Lifecycle Basis by 2020

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is establishing by Executive Order a Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) that requires, as an initial goal, a 10% reduction in the greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) intensity of all passenger vehicle fuels sold in California by 2020. The LCFS requires fuel providers—refiners, importers, and blenders of... Read more →