California Moves Forward with Strong Low Carbon Fuel Standard

Just moments ago, the California Air Resources Board voted unanimously to move forward with a Low Carbon Fuel Standard in California. The ARB decision is a victory for California and its residents, but the benefits of the LCFS will be felt across the nation and around the world.

By re-asserting California’s commitment to the world’s first Low Carbon Fuel Standard and turning back the oil industry’s attempts to weaken it, the Board sent a clear signal that this state is charging forward with the transition from dirty fuels to clean fuels – and is on track to meet commitments to reduce carbon emissions.

Today’s vote also provides clear direction to the oil companies to stop stalling and to live up to their obligations to invest in cleaner alternatives to petroleum. It offers the assurances investors are looking for that the LCFS will safely continue in California and sets forth a model for other states and countries to follow. And it represents a significant down payment on ending our dependence on foreign oil. As a result, more of the money that Californians spend on fuels will stay in California.

The Board also voted to move forward with full accounting for dirtier fuel sources like tar sands, sending a strong signal that California will hold refineries responsible for increased dirty fuel use. They also improved the “dirty fuel” provision by moving toward ensuring refineries are directly responsible for their own performance.

A broad array of interests -- from emerging clean tech businesses to renewable fuel producers, auto manufacturers, utility companies, veterans, health and environmental groups – all came together to defend Californians’ support for a strong fuel standard. A joint letter by NRDC, the Blue Green Alliance and the United Steelworkers and its members in the ten unionized California oil refineries, sent a letter to ARB this week identifying joint areas of support on the LCFS and joint recommendations going forward. Ads in support for the LCFS also ran in advance of the hearing in Capitol Weekly and the Sacramento Bee. The San Francisco Chronicle encouraged CARB to stand firm on the LCFS in an editorial this week.

The board’s clear-minded action demonstrates that no matter how many millions oil companies spend on lobbyists, their trumped up arguments and statistics simply don’t hold up under scrutiny.

About the Authors

Simon Mui

Director, California Vehicles and Fuels, Energy & Transportation program

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