California ARB Posts Draft Regulation for Low Carbon Fuel Standard

Jose Michael

Proposed compliance schedule for gasoline and diesel fuels and substitutes. Click to enlarge.

The staff of the California Air Resources Board has posted the Draft Regulation for the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) which contains the latest staff proposals on the regulatory approach following the March 2008 concept outline. (Earlier post.) ARB is seeking comments on this document, which will be discussed during the LCFS workshop on 16 October 2008, in Sacramento, California.

The draft LCFS maps out a 10.5% reduction in carbon intensity for gasoline or fuels used to substitute for gasoline from 2010 to 2020 (from 96.7 gCO2e/MJ to 86.5 gCO2e/MJ) and a 10% reduction in the carbon intensity of diesel or diesel substitutes (from 95.8 gCO2e/MJ to 86.2 gCO2e/MJ).

Executive Order S-1-07, the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) (issued 18 January 2007), calls for a reduction of at least 10% in the carbon intensity of California’s transportation fuels by 2020. (Earlier post.)

The compliance schedule is still under review and may be adjusted. The standards for gasoline and diesel fuel beyond 2020 will require additional reductions to reflect the need to achieve the AB32 GHG emissions reduction goals in 2050.

The LCFS applies to all fuels (with the exception of alternative fuels—other than biofuels—provided by an exempted regulated party for transportation use at an aggregated volume of less than 420 million MJ (3.6 million gasoline gallon equivalent) per year):

  • California reformulated gasoline (CARFG)
  • California ultra low sulfur diesel fuel (ULSD)
  • Compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquefied natural gas (LNG)
  • Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)
  • Electricity
  • Compressed or liquefied hydrogen
  • A fuel blend containing ethanol
  • A fuel blend containing biomass-based diesel
  • Pure denatured ethanol (E100)
  • Pure biomass-based diesel (B100)
  • Any other liquid or non-liquid fuel.

For the purpose of compliance with the LCFS, the regulated parties are generally the producers or importers. For electricity, the parties are the utilities. For hydrogen delivered to a refueling station, the party is the producer. For on-site hydrogen production, the party is the refueling station owner.

ARB is offering a choice of two methods for determining a fuel’s carbon intensity value:

  • ARB Lookup Table. This method uses the California-modified GREET model, which is available for downloading on ARB’s internet site.

  • Customized Lookup Table Values (Modified ARB Method). This method uses the first method modified with one or more inputs proposed for customization by the regulated party (proponent) as approved by ARB.

    For a proposed Method 2 to be approved by the Executive Officer, the proponent must demonstrate that the method is both scientifically defensible and meets the substantiality requirement.

Checklist of reporting requirements for LCFS fuels. Click to enlarge.

ARB said that additional supporting materials for the LCFS Regulation are under development and will be available this coming week (the week of the workshop).

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