Substantial Benefits from a Proposed Northeast Low Carbon Fuel Standard

The New York Times – Greenwire
August 17, 2011

Northeast fuel standard would slash oil consumption, costs
Jason Plautz

Eleven northeastern states are in the early stages of developing a Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) designed to reduce the carbon intensity of transportation fuels. According to an analysis prepared by the nonprofit Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM), a standard requiring a 10 percent reduction in carbon intensity over the next 10 years would stimulate potential growth in the clean fuels industry as well as reduction in imports of petroleum and diesel. The preliminary analysis suggest that the LCFS could provide a boost of between $17.1 billion and $28.7 billion in gross regional product from 2013 to 2022, which would be matched with a reduction of between 7 percent and 9 percent in greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector by 2022. The governors of the 11 states participating in the LCFS – Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont – signed a memorandum of understanding in December 2009 to advance the program. The States are considering a cut in the carbon intensity of fuels of between 5 percent and 15 percent over 10 to 15 years. Several years ago, these northeastern states formed the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), which requires a 10 percent reduction in carbon emissions from electric generating plants by 2018. Subsequently, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie announced New Jersey’s withdrawal from RGGI. It will be interesting to see whether New Jersey follows suit and backs out of its commitment to the LCFS as well.