Eleven Governors Commit to a Regional Low-Carbon Fuel Standard
January 20, 2010
Governors of 11 Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on December 30 that commits their states to developing a regional low-carbon fuel standard, a market-based, fuel-neutral program addressing the carbon content of fuels. If adopted by the states, the standard would apply to the transportation sector, and potentially to fuels used for heating buildings, with the aim of reducing the greenhouse gas emissions from the burning of liquid fuels. The program could also reduce regional vulnerability to petroleum price volatility, facilitate the long-term transition from petroleum-based fuels, and spur economic growth related to the development of advanced fuels. The MOU establishes a process to develop a regional framework by 2011 and to examine the economic impacts of a low-carbon fuel standard while getting input from business and environmental stakeholders. The 11 signatories include Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont. See the press release from Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and the MOU (PDF 642 KB). Download Adobe Reader.
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) spearheaded the concept of a low-carbon fuel standard, adopting a standard in April 2009 that intends to achieve a 10% reduction in the carbon intensity of transportation fuels by 2020. The measure was given final approval on January 12 by the California Office of Administrative Law, causing the regulation to take effect immediately. See CARB's Low-Carbon Fuel Standard Web page and an article on the standard from the EERE Network News.