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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Status Review of California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard, 2011–2015


California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) is an integral part of the overall strategy to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in California. The primary objectives of an LCFS, sometimes referred to as a clean fuel standard, are to: (i) reduce GHG emissions from the transportation sector; (ii) incentivize innovation, technological development, and deployment of low-emission alternative fuels and alternative fuel vehicles; and (iii) provide a framework for regulating transportation sector GHG emissions within a broader portfolio of climate policies. This issue reviews LCFS compliance metrics from 2011 through 2015: transport fuel energy and LCFS credits and deficits (Section 1), carbon intensity of fuels (Section 2), and credit trading and prices (Section 3). As special topics (Section 4), the authors provide a very brief review of existing low carbon fuel standard (clean fuel) programs in other jurisdictions, and briefly summarize a recent journal article on California compliance.

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