States took impressive legislative action in 2021 to advance low-carbon fuel standards (LCFS), which encourage development and use of sustainable fuels. Here’s a recap of the year.
Washington State: Gov. Jay Inslee signed into law a clean fuel standard requiring fuel producers to limit carbon in transportation fuels 10% by 2028 and 20% by 2035 or purchase carbon credits. This follows similar legislation in California, where 38 million tons of carbon pollution have been reduced since 2011 and Oregon, where greenhouse gases were cut by 3.1 million tons within four years.
This is the “headline” achievement for the year, said Gene Harrington, BIO’s Director of State Advocacy and State Government Affairs for Food and Agriculture. It “completed a Western clean fuels corridor running from British Columbia through California.”
Nevada and Oregon: Both passed legislation permitting sale of E15 (ethanol). “With those two bills, there are now only two states which don’t permit the sale of E15: Montana and California,” said Harrington. “There’s a chance there could be some activity in California.”
New Mexico: In “unexpected progress in New Mexico,” LCFS legislation passed the Senate, but not the House. It is likely to come up next year, with a “better than average chance it will pass,” according to Harrington.
Watch New York and Minnesota: Both states are considering LCFS legislation. “Once New York passes [LCFS legislation], then New Jersey and Connecticut become natural follow-ups,” said Harrington.
Others to watch in 2022: LCFS legislation is possible in Vermont, especially if progress is made in New York. Nebraska may also see some LCFS legislation in 2022.
The big picture: Earlier this year, the White House announced an effort to boost sustainable fuels production to 3 billion gallons and reduce aviation emissions 20%. State-level legislative activity will be key to meeting this goal.
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