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
StewardshipOhio Water Quality Project To Determine How Much Phosph…
July 27, 2015
Researchers with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University are looking for farmers in Read More
FertilizerKoch Agronomic Services Launches N-TEGRATION Technology
July 27, 2015
Koch Agronomic Services, LLC (KAS) has launched  N-TEGRATION Technology, a process technology platform designed to enable production of enhanced efficiency fertilizers at Read More
HerbicidesExpert: IARC Herbicide Classifications Leading To Confu…
July 24, 2015
Few people in the crop protection industry had heard of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) before this Read More
ManagementFCI Trade Summit Update & Precision Tank Turns 50
July 23, 2015
Editors Dave Frabotta and Eric Sfiligoj discuss the upcoming FCI Trade Summit in Las Vegas, NV, and how Precision Tank Read More
Palmer pigweed seedhead in cotton
HerbicidesUSDA Deregulates Dow AgroSciences’ Enlist Cotton Trait
July 23, 2015
The USDA today issued its decision deregulating Dow AgroSciences’ Enlist cotton trait in the U.S. The USDA has now completed its Read More
Industry NewsVerdesian Life Sciences Showcases Versatile Product Por…
July 23, 2015
Technology has revolutionized agriculture by bringing farmers, retailers and distributors to the forefront of the digital age. To meet the Read More
FertilizerWSJ: Cf Industries Exploring Merger With Dutch Chemical…
July 23, 2015
U.S. fertilizer maker CF Industries is in advanced merger talks with Amsterdam-listed chemical company OCI NV, the Wall Street Journal Read More
HerbicidesNufarm Releases New Panther SC Herbicide
July 23, 2015
Nufarm has announced the availability of new Panther SC herbicide. Panther SC is the first liquid formulation of flumioxazin available Read More
EquipmentFarmLink Launches Farm Equipment Sharing Program
July 23, 2015
FarmLink has introduced a new online farm equipment sharing community – MachineryLink Sharing – leveraging this new economy business model Read More
HerbicidesCould The South’s Most Troublesome Weed Represent A Thr…
July 22, 2015
Palmer amaranth is undoubtedly the most troublesome weed in the southern United States, taking a devastating toll on both cotton Read More
Industry NewsH.J. Baker Hires New Director Of International Sales
July 22, 2015
Global Agriculture firm H.J. Baker announced today that Steve Langley has joined the company’s Crop Performance Division and Animal Health Read More
InsecticidesSyngenta Recommends Soybean Scouting To Prevent Economi…
July 22, 2015
Proper soybean insect pest control begins with scouting. As the warm weather continues, Syngenta encourages growers to implement a scouting Read More
Crop InputsH.J. Baker Launches Fall Sulphur Campaign
July 22, 2015
H.J. Baker has launched their “Keep Your Future Green – Use Tiger This Fall and Win Big” campaign. The campaign Read More
Central Valley Ag Randolph, NE
Retail FacilitiesStueve Construction Builds Fifth Facility For Central V…
July 21, 2015
Central Valley Ag partnered with Stueve Construction Co. to successfully design and build its Monroe, Oakland, Wakefield and Royal hub facilities Read More
FertilizerNew Research Could Lead To Less Reliance On Nitrogen, E…
July 21, 2015
Farmers often are required to apply nitrogen fertilizers to their crops to maintain quality and improve yields. Worldwide, farmers used Read More
Seed/BiotechMonsanto Targets Farmers, AFBF In Syngenta Takeover
July 21, 2015
As Monsanto Co. struggles to convince rival Syngenta AG to discuss a potential merger, the seed and agrochemical giant is Read More
CHS Building exterior
Retail FacilitiesSackett Helps CHS Expand Blending Facility, Improve Acc…
July 21, 2015
CHS needed a blend plant that could vastly expand their capabilities in St. Charles, MN. The A.J. Sackett & Sons Read More
Industry NewsH.J. Baker Adds To HR Team
July 21, 2015
H.J. Baker announced today that Barbara Sullivan has joined the company’s executive team as Vice President of Human Resources. Prior Read More