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Low carbon fuel standard may actually increase GHG emissions

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

The implementation of a nationwide low carbon fuel standard (LCFS) in the US would increase global greenhouse gas emissions by up to 19 million tpy, contradicting the claim of LCFS advocates that the standard would reduce such emissions, according to a study issued today. Barr Engineering Company of Minneapolis conducted the study for members of the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association (NPRA).

The study assumes that because an LCFS would prevent American refineries from importing petroleum obtained from oilsands in neighbouring Western Canada, the US would instead have to import more oil in tankers from the Middle East and elsewhere. At the same time, the Canadian oil would be shipped in tankers across the Pacific to China and other Asian locations. 

The study calls this long distance movement of oil thousands of miles around the world in tankers a ‘shuffle’ that would result in higher carbon dioxide emissions than simply extracting the Canadian petroleum from the oilsands for US consumption, due to emissions created by shipping the oil such great distances.  

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