Spreading CARB’s Low Carbon Fuel Misery Nation Wide
07/19/2012 10 Comments
KQED has the story this morning: California Dreaming? Selling Congress on Low-Carbon Fuel.
Scientists from six research institutions—including UC Davis—are attending a bipartisan briefing on Capitol Hill this week to present the results of a new study touting the potential benefits of a national low-carbon standard.
LCFS — part of California’s AB 32 climate change legislation — calls for a 10% reduction in the “carbon intensity” (CI) of transportation fuels in California by 2020. The federal Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS), by contrast, calls for a gradual increase of 35 billion gallons of biofuel by 2022. It also establishes threshold production levels for various biofuel feedstocks, which is where it has run into trouble.
Corn-based ethanol, conceived as a temporary solution, continues to exceed the maximum production level set by the mandate. Meanwhile, production of cellulosic biofuels, derived from non-food and potentially more environmentally sustainable feedstocks such as grasses and wood chips, has fallen short each of the last five years. The EPA reduced the 2011 cellulosic biofuels mandate by a staggering 97%, from 250 million gallons to just 6.6 million.
You can read the rest of the article HERE. The article concludes:
Sperling says that the LCFS is intentionally designed to spur innovation by establishing regulatory targets that companies can bank on. But taking it national would require buy-in from corn farmers, advanced biofuels producers, electric utilities plus the automobile and oil industries, he adds. No easy task.
The initial thrust of the LCFS was based on the idea that wood chips, switch grass and other green waste could be turned into biofuels. The EPA has spend millions in tax dollar subsidies in attempts to produce those biofuels and have failed. The biofuels called out in the LCFS mandate are not available. So, now California has decided that the solution to make it a national standard in the hope that some one will come up with a solution? Government attempting to pick a winner and tax payers are the loser. Biofuels are only viable with huge government subsides, we get to pay twice once at the pump and again for the subsidies.