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Regulation | RNG

Low Carbon Fuel Standard Compliance Rate Nears 100 Percent in 2015

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May 23, 2016

CARB’s annual report on the state of the Low Carbon Fuel Standard program shows a record-high compliance rate of 98 percent in 2015. The program generated almost 5.5 million credits in the compliance year, which reduced greenhouse gas emissions as much as removing roughly 1 million cars from California’s roads, according to CARB.

All regulated parties were required to submit their annual LCFS compliance reports for 2015 by April 30. These reports demonstrate what CARB calls “exceedingly high levels of overall compliance.” Of the 52 organizations that sell high-carbon fuels and have an obligation under the LCFS program, only one ended the compliance period with a small shortfall of credits. To maintain compliance, Astra Oil Company will be required to purchase 337 credits from the LCFS Credit Clearance Market to make up for its deficit.

“As the ARB has said, the LCFS one of the pillars supporting the state’s efforts to fight climate change,” said Coalition President Thomas Lawson. “And we’re pleased to note that RNG [biomethane] is making an increasing contribution to the low-carbon fuel supply, in terms of both volume and credits. As we get more natural gas trucks on the road and increase fuel production capacity, RNG will play an even greater role in improving air quality and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

The LCFS program was established in 2011 to lower the carbon emissions generated at every stage of a fuel’s production. Since then, renewable and low-carbon fuels rewarded under the LCFS program, including natural gas, have displaced 5.3 billion gallons of gasoline and 1.2 billion gallons of diesel fuel. The program has generated 16.5 million credits with a current balance—meaning overcompliance—of 7.4 million credits. Each credit is the equivalent of 1 metric ton of carbon dioxide.

“This program is succeeding,” said CARB Chair Mary D. Nichols in an agency press release. “California has a thriving market for new, low-carbon fuels, there is an ample supply of low-carbon fuel credits, and the marketplace and the regulation provide business with the flexibility needed to comply.”

CARB’s LCFS data dashboard offers a downloadable spreadsheet containing the full year of compliance data.

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Photo ©Westport Innovations, used by permission

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