CARB punctuates biodiesel position as America's advanced biofuel

By The National Biodiesel Board | March 12, 2014

Clean air and biodiesel—with the California Air Resources Board proposal released March 12 you are likely to find both in California well into the future. The proposal recognizes biodiesel’s sustainability and environmental benefits, takes a notable step in the right direction, and will open new avenues for biodiesel use in the state.

For several years CARB has been working to assign indirect land use change (ILUC) values to various alternative fuels. Though the concept of ILUC remains under debate nationally, in California, these values will ultimately determine how products may be used to comply with the state’s low carbon fuel standard (LCFS) and future carbon reduction goals. The outcome of the final rule is likely to trickle across the nation as other states follow the state’s lead on carbon mitigation.

“We applaud the Air Resources Board for recognizing the need to reduce carbon from transportation and fossil fuels to mitigate climate change,” said Don Scott, National Biodiesel Board director of sustainability. “Since America’s advanced biofuel, biodiesel, is among the most effective tools for carbon reduction, this represents a major step forward. We are hopeful the agency will continue on this path to use the best science to quantify the benefits of biodiesel.”

The NBB has provided information and expert resources to CARB as the group worked to improve its quantification through a comprehensive process. Figures released March 12 are preliminary; however, they bring California’s policy generally in line with similar values defined by U.S. EPA. The EPA has concluded that biodiesel reduces greenhouse gas by as much as 86 percent compared to petroleum diesel. The CARB revised ILUC estimates show biodiesel is among the most sustainable fuels available and concludes biodiesel made from soy oil generates about half the indirect emissions that CARB originally outlined during its rulemaking process in 2009. The NBB will continue working with CARB to demonstrate that biodiesel made from a wide array of feedstocks meets the strict sustainability requirements of the LCFS.

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