Low Carbon Fuel Standard Fixes 35-Year Old Problem in US Energy Policy

california traffic photo
It tackles oil dependence by not stipulating one fuel over another, but not car dependence... photo: Daniel Blume via flickr.

Though California's new Low Carbon Fuel Standard is certainly proving controversial, due its inclusion of land-use changes when calculating the carbon footprint of biofuels, and hints of a national backlash have been heard, in the broad stroke it's intent is solidly in the right place. Huffington Post has given Mary Nichols, Chairman of the California Air Resources Board the space to tout why the LCFS is good thing, and it's worth taking a read. Here's the essence of what the Fuel Standard is designed to do:

How does the standard provide a foundation for a healthier and more secure economy? By fixing the problem that has bedeviled US energy policy for 35 years.

Previous attempts to take on oil depended upon a range of chosen alternatives: methanol one year, ethanol the next. The Low Carbon Fuel Standard breaks new ground because it does not anoint winners and losers. It leaves that decision to the marketplace. [...]

...by sending a signal that there is a price to pay for choosing carbon-heavy fuels like gasoline and some biofuels produced from food products, the market is primed to develop a new generation of the cleanest fuels in the nation and the world. Investment to develop and distribute these new fuels is already flowing into California. While every other sector of the economy is flagging in these difficult times, the clean technology sector continues to grow as investors pump billions into clean, renewable power, and millions into the research and development of a new generation of fuels in California. These include powerful enzymes that can break down agricultural waste such as straw, common invasive weeds such as switchgrass or even wood or solid municipal waste (yes, that's garbage) to create ethanol and other fuels.

via: Huffington Post
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Tags: Biofuels | California | Renewable Energy | Transportation | United States

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