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Defending California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard

by Joel Velasco on May 07, 2010

Did you know that nearly one in every seven U.S. cars is driven in California? That is staggering. As the largest state in the country with one of the highest carbon intensities in the world, California has gone to great lengths to reduce the environmental impact of their driving public – and they have every right to.

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Did you know that nearly one in every seven U.S. cars is driven in California? That is staggering. In fact so staggering that our press release yesterday mistakenly stated it to be just one in ten -- but hey, admitting mistakes is one of the ground rules here!

As the largest state in the country with one of the highest carbon intensities in the world, California has gone to great lengths to reduce the environmental impact of their driving public – and they have every right to.

In 2007, the state established the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS), which aims to reduce the carbon footprint of California’s passenger vehicle fuels by at least 10 percent by 2020. The chair of California’s Air Resources Board (ARB) referred to the LCFS as a “critical tool to help us break our dependence on fossil fuels that will protect us from volatile oil prices and provide consumers with cleaner fuels and provide the nation with greater energy security.”

Yet not everyone agrees. The LCFS is now under fire, facing legal challenges from the petroleum, trucking and corn ethanol industries.  In contrast, sugarcane ethanol providers are prepared to help meet the challenge. The Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association filed an Amicus briefing this week rebutting these lawsuits, and the state of Oregon has filed a similar brief. California’s Attorney General also has asked the Court to dismiss the case, which will be heard on May 26 before Judge Lawrence O’Neill in the Federal District Court in Fresno, California.

I’ll echo this call and urge Judge O’Neill to dismiss the lawsuits. The LCFS is an important step in fighting climate change, and the sugarcane ethanol industry is proud to be part of the solution to achieving California’s low-carbon goals.

copyright 2010 Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association