Calif. approves nation's 1st low-carbon fuel rule

April 24, 2009 By SAMANTHA YOUNG , Associated Press Writer

(AP) -- California air regulators on Thursday adopted a first-in-the-nation mandate requiring low-carbon fuels, part of the state's wider effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The California Air Resources Board voted 9-1 to approve the standards, which are expected to create a new market for and could serve as a template for a national policy that has been advocated by President and Democrats in Congress.

Gov. said the rule would "reward innovation, expand consumer choice and encourage the private investment we need to transform our energy infrastructure."

"I think we're creating the framework for a new way of looking at automotive fuels where no longer will gasoline derived by petroleum be the only game in town," board chairwoman Mary Nichols said.

The rules call for reducing the carbon content of fuels sold in the state by 10 percent by 2020, a plan that includes counting all the emissions required to deliver gasoline and diesel to California consumers - from drilling a new oil well or planting corn to transporting it to gas stations.

Transportation accounts for 40 percent of emissions in the state.

"The emissions from this sector have traditionally grown in California at a rate that exceeds even our growth in population," Nichols said before the vote. "It has led to a host of environmental problems."

Representatives of the ethanol industry have criticized the rule, saying state regulators overstated the environmental effects of corn-based ethanol. They also have criticized the board's intention to tie global deforestation and other land conversions to biofuel production in the United States.

The board has said Brazil converted rainforest into soybean plantations as a result of the growth in corn-based ethanol in the U.S. A formula being considered by the board would take into account the destruction of forests and grasslands elsewhere to grow fuel crops for U.S. demand.

The ethanol industry also said it was unfair to penalize it for agricultural land changes abroad.

"We are not convinced expansion of ethanol in the U.S. has caused or will cause land use changes," said Geoff Cooper, vice president of research at the Renewable Fuels Association.

John Telles, the dissenting board member, said before the vote that he had a "hard time accepting the fact that we're going to ignore the comments of 125 scientists" who questioned the agency's decision to estimate the emissions tied to land-use changes.

"They said the model was not good enough," he said.

Representatives for BP PLC and Chevron Corp. said their companies supported the new standards, with the caveat that the board periodically review the standards. The air board agreed to ensure that the most up-to-date science is incorporated into the rule and that the alternative fuels have become available as expected.

Under the low-carbon fuel standard, petroleum refiners, companies that blend fuel and distributors must increase the cleanliness of the fuels they sell in California beginning in 2011.

The petroleum industry warned that the state was moving too quickly without assurances that the alternative fuels they will be required to sell would be available for the market. Representatives asked the board to delay a decision until next year.

"It's frankly unclear to us how we will comply with this regulation," said Catherine Reheis-Boyd, chief operating officer of the Western States Petroleum Association.

The statewide efforts come two years after Schwarzenegger directed air regulators to develop a rule that would boost the amount of renewable fuels sold in the state.

Nichols said Thursday that a low-carbon mandate would reduce California's dependency on petroleum by 20 percent and account for one-tenth of the state's goal to cut greenhouse by 2020.


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Environmental Protection Agency Air Resources Board:

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3.7 / 5 (3) Apr 24, 2009

How sad it is that very honest, caring people have been hood-winked into believing that Earth's climate is controlled by man-made CO2 instead of the Sun - Earth's heat source.

For a copy of the paper, "Earth's heat source- The Sun," published in Energy & Environment, vol. 20 (2009), send an e-mail request to

See also the recent BBC report, 'QUIET SUN' BAFFLING ASTRONOMERS

Our Sun has gone quiet. Sunspots have disappeared! Earth is cooling.

Angular momentum changes in the Sun cause deep-seated magnetic fields from the dense, energetic solar core to penetrate the visible solar surface (the photosphere) and produce cycles of sunspots and solar eruptions.

Earth's climate is closely linked to this cycle of angular momentum changes and to the number of sunspots at the solar surface.

You can see the Landscheidt solar cycles here:


With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel
not rated yet Apr 27, 2009
Of course BP supports the new standard. They are planning on how to make more money no matter which way things turn out. They and Enron were lobbying former Pres. Bush to support "green" legislation.

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