California emissions vote may determine biodiesel future

22 April 2009 21:35  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--California policy makers are preparing to vote as early as Thursday on fuel carbon standards that could determine the future of biodiesel usage in the US, sources said on Wednesday.  

The California Air Resources Board, a part of the state’s Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA), is scheduled to vote on Thursday on proposed low carbon fuel standards (LCFS). The standards may include indirect land use measurements, which take into account how the growth of fuel crops affects the environment.

Proponents of applying the indirect land use measures say using food crops to manufacture fuel ultimately leads to higher greenhouse gas emissions, which would make biodiesel a less attractive alternative fuel for blenders.

California is the largest fuel consuming state in the US and is often considered a leader in environmental initiatives.

The NBB counters that data finding renewable fuels cause more harm than good are based on flawed models.

Commenters on the board’s plan ranged from BP  to the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) to the Union of Concerned Scientists.

The California EPA’s decision on fuel standards is expected to have a large impact on the federal government’s stance on biodiesel and other renewables.

Bookmark Simon Robinson’s Big Biofuels Blog for some independent thinking on biofuels
For more information on biodiesel and ethanol, visit ICIS chemical intelligence
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By: Ben Lefebvre
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