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Industry supports California's LCFS

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

As California policymakers consider options to extend the state's landmark climate change laws to 2030 and beyond, 155 businesses and industry groups have said they strongly support the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) in a letter to Governor Jerry Brown, Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León, and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon.

First implemented in 2011, the LCFS requires California fuel providers to reduce the carbon intensity of transportation fuels at least 10% by 2020, by phasing in less carbon-intensive fuel technologies. The letter demonstrates the depth and breadth of business support for the LCFS, which creates jobs and rewards innovation while slashing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and improving air quality. In just five years – 2011 to 2016 – the LCFS helped inspire a 57% uptick in the use of clean fuels in California.

"The LCFS is spurring the growth of a cleaner fuels industry and creating new jobs in California," said John Boesel, president and CEO of CALSTART, a consortium of clean transportation technology companies that organised the letter. "We have been seeing a steady expansion of the low carbon fuels industry in California. The LCFS is working and should be continued and strengthened."

Signatories to the letter include clean fuel producers, vehicle manufacturers, and vehicle fleet operators. In the letter, signatories lauded the LCFS because it provides the incentives needed to invest in new clean vehicle and fuel technologies today in order to bring down the costs for all Californians in the future. The state's flourishing clean economy was also a major focus of the letter. As indicated in the letter, the LCFS has supported the development of over 20 low-carbon fuel plants throughout the state, with additional facilities on the horizon. Since 2011, US$1.6 billion has been invested in clean fuels production under the LCFS.

"The LCFS credits provide an important source of revenue for CR&R's anaerobic digester facility," said Paul Relis, senior vice president of CR&R Inc., a supportive business. "This facility is producing the cleanest transportation fuel available to address nitrogen oxide and criteria emissions and short-lived climate pollutants in Southern California."

With the LCFS, California is on track to meet the GHG reduction targets enshrined in the state's landmark climate change laws including AB 32 and more recently, SB 32. Signatories also note the LCFS has been a vital tool for bringing clean, low carbon transportation to California's disadvantaged communities and that the policy improves air quality in areas such as the San Joaquin Valley and the South Coast Air Basin, two regions that suffer from the nation's worst air quality. The policy has already helped California avert 26 million t of carbon pollution and US$2 billion in avoided public health impacts.

"The LCFS is a critical incentive driving heavy-duty truck and bus fleets toward zero-emission vehicles," said Macy Neshati, senior vice president of BYD Heavy Industries, a California manufacturing company. "To date, BYD has created more than 600 vehicle manufacturing jobs in California to meet strong demand for zero-emission vehicles."

Companies signing the letter emphasised that the LCFS is good for their customers. According to a recent report, the LCFS will save California consumers US$1210 – US$1530 in annual fuel costs while encouraging new mobility options and more alternative fuel choices.

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