First Low Carbon Fuel Standard in U.S. Brings Cleaner Air to California

Action will hasten the transition from dirty to clean fuels

San Francisco (April 23, 2009) – The California Air Resources Board overwhelmingly approved the nation’s first Low Carbon Fuel Standard that will reduce carbon pollution and provide cleaner air for Californians. The new standard will cover emissions from “well to wheels," representing the most comprehensive and ambitious program to account for the pollution created by extracting, growing or refining fuels. It will also give Californians new choices for low carbon fuels, such as advanced biofuels and electricity for plug-in hybrids.

Following is a statement by Roland Hwang, Transportation Program Director for the Natural Resources Defense Council:

“California’s adoption of the Low Carbon Fuel Standard marks the beginning of the end for dirty fuels and the dawning of cleaner fuels for America. The handwriting is on the wall: Big Oil needs to stop investing in dirty, high carbon fuels and move to produce more advanced biofuels and other low carbon fuels. Already 14 states are poised to follow California’s lead, representing roughly 40 percent of the United States.

Business as usual is not going to work for the ethanol industry, and we hope that they will meet this challenge with the same spirit of innovation that makes California the center of clean technology. The ethanol industry needs to become a bridge, not a roadblock to America's clean energy future.

But our work is not done. The Air Resources Board unfortunately postponed the adoption of critical safeguards for our native forests, fish and wildlife habitat, and scenic wildlands. We’ll continue to work with the Air Resources Board to encourage the implementation of important safeguards to ensure that biofuel production does not sacrifice the unique natural heritage of California.”

Read a recent analysis commissioned by NRDC that show California’s greenhouse gas goals can be met without putting areas at risk.

Read Roland Hwang’s blog: Getting Biofuels Right Requires California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard to Have Honest GHG Accounting