California clean fuels rule reports 100 percent compliance
For immediate release
SACRAMENTO – Low carbon transportation fuels are rapidly seizing a larger share of the fuel market, and new data from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) underscores that trend. The 2017 Compliance Report for the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) shows 100 percent compliance with the regulation.
“This is great news and further evidence that California is on the right track in the fight to address climate change and ensure everyone has clean air to breathe,” said CARB Executive Officer Richard Corey. “This program gives consumers more fuel choices and is driving the development of a burgeoning clean-fuel market in California”.
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 climate-changing gases by 2020, as required by AB 32, the 2006 landmark climate bill. Currently fuel producers who sell their product in California must lower the amount of overall carbon in their fuels 10 percent by 2020.
Now that a new climate target of a 40 percent reduction of climate-changing gases is in place for 2030, CARB staff has proposed a further reduction in the LCFS to reach a 20 percent decrease of carbon in vehicle fuels to help meet that target. That reduction will help provide the basis for another overall reduction of an additional 40 percent by 2050.
The program provides consumers with an increasing volume and variety of cleaner fuels. As an example, in 2017, renewable liquid fuels displaced over 500 million gallons of diesel, and more than 100 million gallons were displaced by renewable natural gas. Electricity displaced about 75 million gallons of petroleum.
The 100 percent compliance rate is further proof of the success of the program. Of the 262 companies reporting under the program, 55 generated deficits for supplying fuels that were dirtier than the 2017 program benchmark. They were required to make up for their shortfall by purchasing credits from clean fuel providers. All other companies brought cleaner fuels to market—fuels that were below the carbon-intensity baseline.
Since its start in 2011 the program has generated credits representing a total reduction of 35.8 million metric tons of climate-changing gases. That equals an over-compliance of 9.8 million metric tons, meaning that that GHG emission reductions are occurring ahead of schedule. The clean fuels also reduced emissions of toxic pollutants as well as those that cause smog.
Going forward, CARB staff has proposed a number of amendments to the LCFS besides the 20 percent reduction target. All the amendments are to help achieve the overall 2030 GHG reduction target of 40 percent below 1990 levels.
The proposed amendments include credit generation for new innovative technologies such as hydrogen and electricity fueling stations, carbon capture and sequestration projects and cleaner alternative jet fuels. Other proposed amendments improve crediting for innovative actions at petroleum refineries, and establish an independent third-party verification and verifier accreditation system to ensure accuracy of LCFS reported data.
The amendments were developed with extensive input from industry and the public. At the first of two Board meetings these amendments drew no comments in opposition.