New California Low Carbon Standards Will Have Ag Impact

After a marathon debate, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) last week adopted a regulation that calls for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from transportation fuels in the state by 10 percent by 2020.

It is the first-ever rule in the country to slash carbon emissions in automotive fuels, and is meant to spur the market for cleaner gasoline alternatives. The regulation has been highly controversial, but CARB brushed off a last-ditch appeal Thursday by ethanol advocates for the plan to be ditched.

Backers of California’s low-carbon fuel standard, or LCFS, hailed the move as historic, saying the initiative should be emulated by the rest of the nation and even other countries. It marks the first attempt by government anywhere in the world to subject gasoline, ethanol and other transportation fuels, as opposed to the cars and trucks they power, to limits on their potential for releasing greenhouse gases blamed for global warming.

"The new standard means we can begin to break our century-old dependence on petroleum and provide California with greater energy security," said ARB Chairman Mary D. Nichols. "The drive to force the market toward greater use of alternative fuels will be a boon to the state’s economy and public health — it reduces air pollution, creates new jobs and continues California’s leadership in the fight against global warming."

The regulation 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’s plan also takes a sweeping "cradle-to-grave" approach to cutting the carbon footprint of fuels by accounting for direct tailpipe emissions and indirect impacts associated with a fuel’s overall "pathway" from production to combustion.

That means California will now also have to regulate the means of production of the fuels, which is one area that has caused heartburn among ethanol producers. In the case of ethanol, the measure factors in the carbon consequences of plowing up grasslands or clearing forests for large-scale corn or sugar cane cultivation.

Ethanol producers and their supporters argue the regulation would disadvantage them because their business by necessity incurs a higher carbon foot print, and as such will be regulated, while petroleum refiners who import oil and gas from abroad won’t have to worry about that part of the regulation that deals with land-use.

To assuage these fears, Nichols said on Wednesday that CARB would take several measures to ensure corn ethanol can help transportation fuel suppliers reach the low-carbon fuel standard. To that effect, in the press release issued after the plan was adopted on Thursday, CARB said California will provide funding to assist in the early development and deployment of the most promising low-carbon fuels.

(Source: DTN)

Leave a Reply

Latest News
Industry NewsHELM AGRO Adds New Marketing & Business Development…
May 4, 2016
HELM AGRO US, Inc. has announced the hiring of Troy Bettner as the company’s new Marketing & Business Development Leader. Bettner Read More
Palmer amaranth in soybean stubble
HerbicidesWSSA: Billions In Potential Economic Losses From Uncont…
May 4, 2016
What losses would corn and soybean growers experience if they were forced to eliminate herbicides and other control techniques from Read More
Spray Drift
HerbicidesRoundup Ready Xtend: Silver Linings In Label Delays For…
May 4, 2016
Since 2014, Monsanto has trained more than 20,000 growers and retailers on all aspects of its new dicamba-tolerant system at Read More
Syngenta headquarters in Basel, Switzerland
Crop InputsSyngenta Board Appoints New CEO
May 4, 2016
Syngenta announced today the appointment of J. Erik Fyrwald, currently President and CEO of the U.S. chemistry distribution company Univar Read More
Crop InputsIntrexon Establishes Crop Protection Enterprise
May 4, 2016
Intrexon Corp., a leader in synthetic biology, has announced the formation of Intrexon Crop Protection (ICP), a wholly-owned subsidiary dedicated to Read More
Patriot 4440 Sprayer close up
ManagementFlashing Back And Moving Forward On Spray Drift
May 3, 2016
The potential for pesticide drift remains an unavoidable feature of modern agriculture. Here, too, history repeats itself. “When Roundup debuted, Read More
Giant Ragweed
HerbicidesSurvey Provides Insights On Giant Ragweed In The Corn B…
May 2, 2016
A new survey published in the journal Weed Science offers insights into the distribution and management of giant ragweed, a Read More
Truck dumping dry fertilizer
FertilizerFertilizer Logistics Q&A: Southern States’ Joe Wlod…
May 2, 2016
Joe Wlodkoski, Director of Agronomy Procurement, Fertilizer, Southern States Cooperative, is a 40-plus year fertilizer industry veteran. He is quite Read More
Eric SfiligojReasons For Hope In Commodity Prices
May 2, 2016
For many months now, the doomsayers have ruled the day in agriculture. Too much supply with too little demand would Read More
West Central Dome structure
FertilizerFertilizer Logistics 2016: All Clear, So Far
May 1, 2016
After a relatively hairy early start to the spring fertilizer movement season with flooding in Louisiana and St. Louis, things Read More
BAICOR
CropLife 100BRANDT Acquires Utah Specialty Fertilizer Company
April 28, 2016
BRANDT, a leading agriculture retailer and manufacturer of specialty ag products, has acquired a majority interest in BAICOR, L.C. BAICOR, Read More
Soybean field
Industry NewsVerdesian Life Sciences Adds Vice President Of Business…
April 28, 2016
Verdesian Life Sciences has announced the addition of Marc Treurniet to the plant health and nutrition company’s management team. Treurniet Read More
ManagementBiotech Crops Developments and Millennials
April 28, 2016
Editors Eric Sfiligoj and Paul Schrimpf talk about the latest activities in biotech crops and a major shift in the Read More
Industry NewsNachurs-Alpine, Pathway Biologic Extend Marketing Agree…
April 28, 2016
Nachurs-Alpine Solutions (Marion, OH) and Pathway Biologic (Plant City, FL) announce an extension to their exclusive marketing agreement specific to Read More
MicronutrientsCharah Add Three Warehouses For SUL4R-PLUS Fertilizer
April 28, 2016
Charah, Inc., a total solutions company providing unparalleled service and innovation for the coal-fired power generation industry, announced today that Read More
Spenser Forgey, Yahama Fortix
FungicidesIndiana Farmer Wins Arysta LifeScience FORTIX Fungicide…
April 28, 2016
Arysta LifeScience North America recently presented Spenser Forgey, a grower from Young America, IN, with a new 2016 Yamaha Grizzly Read More
Corn Field
HerbicidesNew Wilbur‐Ellis Herbicide Targets Volunteer Corn
April 28, 2016
Wilbur‐Ellis Co., a recognized leader in marketing and distribution of crop protection products, as well as precision agriculture technology, has Read More
StewardshipNRCS To Help Farmers Measure Conservation Impacts On Wa…
April 27, 2016
The USDA has announced the availability of $2 million to help farmers install edge-of-field stations that monitor water quality as Read More