Groups representing renewable fuel production are encouraging California regulators to consider the role liquid transportation fuels — and biofuels in particular — can play in carbon-reduction efforts in the state. 

In comments submitted to the California Air Resources Board, Growth Energy and the Renewable Fuels Association separately say biofuels have already played a role in the effectiveness of California's low-carbon fuel standard. 

“Already, we’ve seen biofuels provide the foundation for the LCFS," Chris Bliley, Growth Energy's senior vice president of regulatory affairs, said in a statement. "In fact, biofuels like bioethanol have generated more than 75 percent of LCFS credits. As recently as 2020, bioethanol was the largest LCFS volume and second-largest credit generator. Additionally, even with room to further improve GHG lifecycle modeling, the LCFS recognizes the significant improvement in bioethanol’s carbon intensity.” 

In his comments, Bliley also encouraged the use of higher ethanol blends to lower greenhouse gas emissions. He applauded CARB's recent E15 emission evaluation and explained the positive contribution E85 infrastructure could have on emissions.

For her part, Kelly Davis, RFA's vice president of technical and regulatory affairs, said the group "supports California’s goal of carbon neutrality by 2045.

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"This is an aggressive, but achievable goal that will require a broad portfolio of low- and zero-carbon fuel solutions," she said. "The LCFS is a centerpiece policy in California’s decarbonization efforts and modifying and extending the LCFS regulation beyond 2030 is necessary to achieve carbon neutrality.”

California was one of the first states to pass an LCFS into law, leading to demand for biofuels production from across the nation as the state looked to decarbonize its vehicle fleet. While many in biofuels policy ponder the prospects of an LCFS in more states — or perhaps nationally — California is considering updates to its own and hosting workshops to discuss how to best achieve its goals to increase carbon intensity reduction targets by 2030.

CARB’s second public workshop to discuss potential changes to the LCFS will take place Aug. 18.

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