Low carbon fuel standard being considered by CARB

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, Jan. 23, 2009 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) will be hosting a Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) Workshop on January 30 in Sacramento.

This will be the first major regulation in the series of rules necessary to implement the AB 32 Scoping Plan. The process surrounding evaluation and adoption of the LCFS will set the tone and standard for future rulemaking, so it’s important that this process meets the assurances offered by CARB during Scoping Plan development, and satisfies stakeholders’ and the public’s concerns about economic impacts and practical feasibility.

CMTA believes it is imperative that this regulation undergo the detailed review and analysis that the CARB’s Board stated would occur when it approved the Scoping Plan in December.

As a fuel regulation, LCFS is also subject to more rigorous review to ensure that new fuel formulations do not disrupt fuel supplies or inadvertently harm California’s air and water resources. The Legislature placed consumer protections into law, requiring CARB to undertake the following reviews on new fuel standards prior to their adoption:
    • Determine the availability, effectiveness, reliability and safety of the fuels expected to be used to meet the LCFS.
    • Conduct multi-media environmental reviews to ensure there will be no adverse impact to California air and water resources and to public health.
    • Determine the cost-effectiveness of the LCFS.
    • Determine the effect on availability and cost of conventional fuels, especially in the event fuels mandated under LCFS have not been developed or cannot be produced and delivered in sufficient quantities to meet the required usage levels.
    • Document the impact of the proposed LCFS on fuel efficiency, and on the existing motor vehicle distribution system.
    • Analyze how the LCFS will impact key segments of the California economy such as trucking, railroads, fleet operators, construction industry and agriculture.
    • Determine the cost to consumers.
    • Conduct extensive testing in consultation with vehicle manufacturers, truckers, fleet operators and others to determine how low carbon fuels will impact product availability, vehicle performance and equipment reliability.

New fuel formulations can deliver significant environmental benefits, but come with serious and very real risks. As required by law, these risks can best be managed by CARB engaging key stakeholders and consumers in comprehensive review, discussion and development of strategies to minimize problems before mandates are finalized and implemented. Now more than ever, in these uncertain economic times, it is important to exercise extensive diligence in the rulemaking process to maximize cost-effectiveness and instill public confidence.

CMTA continues to advocate for rational regulations to meet AB32 targets in a cost effective manner.

To see CARB Workshop details:: www.arb.ca.gov/fuels/lcfs/lcfs_meetings.htm

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