We Have ESG Down to the Letter
What’s Next for California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard?


By: Ankur K. TohanElizabeth C. CrouseBuck B. EndemannTad J. MacfarlanAlyssa A. MoirLaurie B. PurpuroCliff L. RothensteinMolly K. BarkerMatthew P. ClarkChristina A. EllesNatalie J. Reid

Carbon Quarterly is a newsletter covering developments in carbon policy, law, and innovation. No matter your views on climate change policy, there is no avoiding an increasing focus on carbon regulation, resiliency planning, and energy efficiency at nearly every level of government and business. Changes in carbon—and more broadly greenhouse gas—policies have the potential to broadly impact our lives and livelihoods. Carbon Quarterly offers a rundown of attention-worthy developments.


Carbon Policy

  • Latest on the Energy Infrastructure Act of 2021
  • D.C. Circuit Confirms Sale of Offshore Wind Lease Does Not Trigger NEPA Review
  • U.S. Tax Updates for Carbon 

Carbon Litigation and Regulation

  • Directly Targeting Indirect Sources—The Silver Bullet to Comprehensive Greenhouse Gas Management 

Carbon Business

  • Offshore Wind Projects Take Off Under Biden Administration
  • Exxon CCUS Innovation Zone: Houston Ship Channel  

Carbon Spotlight

  • Leading Harvest—Certifying Carbon Management in Agriculture

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What’s Next for California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard?

By Buck Endemann

In September 2018, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) approved several significant changes to California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) that will take affect on January 1, 2019. [1] The LCFS is California’s “cap and trade” regime for transportation fuels, where fuels are assigned a Carbon Intensity (CI) that varies depending on their feedstock and how they are produced or manufactured.  Producers of fuels with a CI under the annual cap (for 2018, 93.55 grams of CO2 equivalent per Megajoule) earn credits while producers of higher-carbon fuels like gasoline and diesel incur deficits and are required to buy offsetting credits to meet the annual average CI value.  Credits are bought and sold in the secondary market, and the current LCFS credit price of nearly $200/Metric Ton is driving the development of many facilities that are able to produce transportation fuels with low CI scores. 

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