California adopts low-carbon, alternative fuel standard

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Golden State has adopted a Low Carbon Fuel Standard regulation that calls for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from transportation fuels by 10 percent by 2020.

The California Air Resources Board will implement Gov. Schwarzenegger’s rule aimed at boosting the market for alternative-fuel vehicles.

According to Associated Press, activities include drilling new oil wells, planting corn, and delivering fuel to retail locations. It requires providers, refiners, importers and blenders to ensure that the fuels they provide for the California market meet an average declining standard of "carbon intensity."

California is also providing funding to assist in the early development and deployment of the most promising low-carbon fuels.

The American Trucking Associations filed comments with CARB, asking the agency to delay implementation of the low carbon fuel standard and to embrace a national solution to reducing the carbon intensity of transportation fuels.

ATA pointed out that the California plan could actually increase carbon emissions by forcing biofuels produced under the federal renewable fuel standard to be transported to California for consumption rather than being consumed close to where they are produced.

ATA also raised concerns over the costs of the proposed standard and the challenges that high percentage biodiesel blends and natural gas alternatives create for the trucking industry.

The petroleum industry also asked CARB to delay their decision, warning that the state may be moving too quickly, and that the alternative fuels that would be required under the proposal might not be available in the quantities needed.

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