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California implements changes to clean fuels program

Program changes are aimed at streamlining the process of accounting for carbon released during the transportation of fuels.



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Updated on 19 Dec 2011 06:33 GMT

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) has voted to introduce some changes to its Low Carbon Fuel Standard to streamline procedures and clarify language.

The Low Carbon Fuel Standard is designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation fuels 10 percent by 2020. The aim of the standard is to drive innovation to reduce the carbon intensity of existing fuels and develop the next generation of cleaner fuels, ultimately reducing the state’s reliance on petroleum. Transportation alone accounts for 40 percent of California’s Greenhouse Gas emissions.

"The Low Carbon Fuel Standard is an essential part of California’s program to move away from dirty fuels and toward a clean energy future,” according to Air Resources Board Chairman Mary D. Nichols.

"These changes streamline the program. They ensure that we accurately account for every gram of carbon released during the extraction and transportation of unrefined fossil fuels, no matter where they come from," added Nichols.

One key amendment will aim to improve how the regulation accounts for the carbon intensity of crude oils. The carbon intensity of crudes can vary significantly with heavy crudes generally having a higher carbon footprint.

The proposed amendments require that the carbon intensity of crudes be fully accounted for just like other fuels under the program. The provision also incentivizes innovation by providing credits for specific actions to reduce the carbon intensity of crude oil.






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