CARB Tightens Fuel Emission Rules

In line with a policy goal of California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) that calls for a greenhouse-gas-reduction target of 40% below 1990 levels by 2030, the California Air Resources Board announced Sept. 25 that it has opted to “readopt” a Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) that requires a 10% reduction in the “carbon intensity of transportation fuels” by 2020.  The board also said it has adopted a regulation on Alternative Diesel Fuels (ADF). This measure establishes a three-step process beginning in 2016 “to create a path to bring cleaner diesel substitutes into the market.”  The regulation also establishes requirements and fuel specifications for biodiesel to ensure the emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) from biodiesel use will not increase and will be reduced over time. CARB noted that biodiesel and other ADFs can help producers achieve their target under the low-carbon fuel standards.

These actions follow an executive order issued by Gov. Brown in July that directs state agencies to craft an “integrated action plan” by July 2016 that would set “clear targets to improve freight efficiency, transition to zero-emission technologies [for cars and trucks] and increase competitiveness of California's freight system.”

The moves build on “years of successful implementation and will continue reducing carbon emissions from the transportation sector," said CARB Chair Mary D. Nichols. “Transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gases in the state," she noted. “This program is a key element of California’s plans to enact Gov. Brown’s Executive Order mandating a 50% cut in petroleum use by 2030.”

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