California’s Air Resources Board is always looking for the cleanest, most efficient ways to cut carbon emissions in the state. In a recently released study, utilizing more than seven years of research and analysis, biodiesel came out on top.
On Sept. 25, CARB finalized California’s revised low carbon fuel standard. The new standard affirmed that biodiesel is in fact the lowest-carbon fuel emitter among all liquid or gaseous fuels, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50 percent and as much as 81 percent compared to petroleum.
As National Biodiesel Board director of sustainability Don Scott explains,
Biodiesel is the most sustainable fuel on the planet. Low carbon alternatives can also be low cost alternatives when we use diverse supplies of renewable resources. This validates that California’s carbon reduction goals are obtainable.”
The Air Resources Board quantified the carbon intensity of conventional and alternative fuels as part of the state’s low carbon fuel standard, utilizing research from the past 7+ years. Researchers incorporated every aspect of producing a fuel’s raw materials into the analysis, including emissions created during conversion and transportation. It’s one of the most thorough evaluations ever done to quantify the environmental footprint of biofuels.
Five years ago, the U.S. EPA established the federal renewable fuel standard (RFS). Under that program, biodiesel qualified as an advanced biofuel with the EPA claiming it reduces carbon emissions from 57 percent to 86 percent. CARB’s research helps support those findings and inform their own fuel standards.
California’s analysis, which has been validated by independent academic review, provides confidence that biodiesel is, without question, a more sustainable alternative for transportation fuel,” said Scott. “The commercial success of the growing biodiesel industry suggests goals to further reduce greenhouse gases and displace imported petroleum are appropriate and achievable. With a focus on carbon reduction and the national policy to support it, biodiesel could reduce carbon emission by 40 million tons annually.”
Biodiesel is made from abundant, renewable resources. Today, it is now produced in nearly every state in the nation, supporting approximately 62,000 jobs from coast to coast.