The proposal from the California Air Resources Board for a Low Carbon Fuel Standard that we mentioned the other day might deal a blow to the biofuels industry. The LCFS might be one way for California to meet its stated goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions through lowered carbon in California transportation fuels by an average of 10 percent by the year 2020. To enact some of this reduction, CARB is looking at lifecycle emissions of biofuels. According to the New York Times, some ethanol makers were "enraged" at the prospect that questions about emissions and indirect land use will make ethanol look badin CARB's eye. One ethanol company spokesman told The Los Angeles Times that CARB's LCFS proposal was "a perversion of science and a prescription for disaster."
Under a 2007 federal law (one that the EPA has yet to implement) biodiesel might not fare well, either. As we know, "The Biodiesel Industry Is Struggling And Needs Your Help!", and the law's requirement that soy biodiesel needs to reduce greenhouse gasses by 50 percent (compared to compared to conventional diesel) might no longer be feasible. The reason, again, is a broader look at the impacts of biofuel production, and new EPA calculations that take into account the damage done overseas, where some of the biodiesel feedstock is produced. More details here.

[Source: Dow Jones / New York Times]
Photo by Nelson D. Licensed under Creative Commons license 2.0.

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