The State of California has a Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) regulation which mandates that California’s transportation fuels should be at least 10 percent less carbon intensive by the year 2020. The LCFS does not mandate the adoption of any particular fuel, but it will likely drive demand for biofuels (and possibly also drive demand for natural gas, hydrogen, and electricity).
California has established an expert workgroup to develop sustainability provisions to be used in implementing the LCFS. This workgroup has developed draft environmental sustainability principles relating to Conservation and Biodiversity, Soil, Water, and Air with respect to biomass and biofuels.
The Wilderness Society has submitted comments (see below) to the California Air Resources Board (CARB) regarding the draft LCFS environmental sustainability principles for biomass and biofuels. TWS has made recommendations for revisions to the draft principles that would make the principles more ecologically robust. TWS has also recommended that sustainability provisions for biomass be harmonized across California’s many innovative climate policies which potentially affect biomass utilization, and that such provisions should reflect current federal renewable fuels law which excludes biomass from federal lands for conversion to biofuels.