A Low-Carbon Fuel Standard is Bad Policy

Days before Pennsylvanians rang in the New Year, Gov. Rendell signed an agreement that paves the way for one of the most radical (and expensive) changes in Pennsylvania’s energy history.

The Governor, with little fanfare, obligated Pennsylvania to reduce the carbon intensity of all transportation and home heating fuels sold in the Commonwealth through a “memorandum of understanding” with 10 neighboring states. The policy is called a Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) and the goal is to lower carbon fuel usage, ease our dependence on foreign oil, and create jobs, however a LCFS will do none of the above.

Failure to Lower Carbon Fuel Usage: LCFS would do nothing to lower global GHG emissions; it may even increase them. A study shows the decreases high carbon fuel production could increase low carbon fuel
production, possibly increasing net carbon emissions.

Foreign Oil: The argument against foreign oil is a red herring. The United States imports the vast majority of it’s oil from Canada and Mexico, not the middle east. Fuels which take more energy to produce and refine receive worse scores under a LCFS, this includes Canadian fuel. Basically the policy would force companies to purchase more expensive oil from the middle east.

Loss of good-paying U.S. jobs: An LCFS would institute a de facto ban on acquiring secure supplies of North American oil from which the fuels we use are generated. Without those energy sources, not only does the price of fuel increase and availability decrease, but Americans whose jobs were tied to that energy may find themselves out of work.

For more information on LCFS go to SecureOurFuels.org.