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Oregon Passes Low Carbon Fuel Standard Law

June 30, 2009
Low Carbon Fuel Standard

Low Carbon Fuel Standard

On June 24, 2009, the Oregon Legislature passed a Low Carbon Fuel Standard and became the second state in the nation, behind California, to accept a fuel standard.  Beginning in July 2011, Oregon fuel distributors must reduce the carbon content of transportation fuel sold in that state by 10 percent, a requirement modeled after California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard.  These states’ legislative actions can provide encouragement to the rest of the nation to accept a Federal Low Carbon Fuel Standard through demonstrating the advantages of it. 

Other states can benefit from Oregon and California developing their LCFS initiatives.  Oregon will soon begin the rulemaking process for their LCFS, while California is currently working toward completion of their rulemaking process.  Once completed, this new regulation will shift focus from fossil fuel dependency to more on innovative technologies in renewable fuel, stimulating new business opportunities for local or national companies.  This will allow consumers access to a cheaper and less volatile fuel source.

Oregon and California’s decision to accept a state low carbon fuel standard symbolizes a national trend toward lower carbon emissions and a commitment to biofuels.  Already, national momentum leans in this direction with a recent directive announced by President Obama.  In the directive, he pledged to create the nation’s first comprehensive biofuel market development program, coordinate infrastructure policies, and accelerate the investment in and production of American biofuels.  Also, President Obama formed an Interagency Biofuels Working Group that will identify new policy options to promote the environmental sustainability of biofuels feedstock production.  These new initiatives will result in financial incentives and federal policies that will require more national compliance to cleaner fuels.

More and more states will begin to realize the benefits to adopting a fuel standard and will follow in Oregon and California’s path to a cleaner fuel.  Until then, these two states will lead the way to a cleaner fuel by way of better policy and a commitment to new technology.

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