Legislation introduced to establish clean fuel standard in New Mexico

Source: By Erin Voegele, Ethanol Producer Magazine • Posted: Sunday, January 24, 2021

Legislation introduced in New Mexico on Jan. 19 aims to establish a Clean Fuel Standard within the state. The bill is supported by New Mexico Gov. Lujan Grisham, the Low Carbon Fuels Coalition, and the Biotechnology Innovation Organization.

If signed into law, the bill, SB 11, would require a 10 percent reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) from transportation fuels by 2030 when compared to a 2018 baseline. The required GHG reduction threshold would ramp up to 20 percent by 2040.

Those who refine, blend, manufacture and import fuel would be tasked with achieving the reductions. Fuel retailers would not be impacted.

fact sheet published by the New Mexico Environment Department explains that obligated parties could meet the CFS in several ways, including through renewable fuels blending, purchasing credits from generators of low-carbon-intensify fuels, and generating credits by investing in efforts to reduce emissions in the transportation fuel chain. Credits could be generated by any business in any sector of the state’s economy, including agriculture, chemical, dairy, energy, film, forestry, manufacturing, mining, oil and gas, waste management, and wastewater treatment industries.

“This proposed legislation aligns with the Coalition’s mission to support market-based clean fuelpolicies in the United States,” said Graham Noyes, executive director of the LCFC. “New Mexico Senate Bill 11 is exemplary of the kind of solid policy that will drive innovation and economic development in low carbon fuels, while improving air quality and reducing waste streams. We look forward to working with the Governor on this important legislation.”

Adelante Consulting Inc., a New Mexico-based firm with expertise in market-based trading programs and a member of the Low Carbon Fuels Coalition, identified the adoption of a low carbon fuel standard in New Mexico as a key policy prerequisite to attract bio-based industry to the state in a feasibility study for Sandoval County, New Mexico, in 2020. “SB11 is a win for New Mexico’s environment and economy,” said Amy Brown, chief operating officer for Adelante Consulting and a member of the LCFC’s board of directors.

“BIO and the Low Carbon Fuels Coalition thank Governor Lujan Grisham for recognizing the potential of a clean fuel standard to decarbonize transportation—the state’s second-largest emitter of greenhouse gases,” said Stephanie Batchelor, vice president of BIO’s Industrial and Environmental Section in a statement joined by Noyes. “Stable policies like a clean fuel standard that incentivize green energy breakthroughs will help improve the state’s air quality and public health, revitalize the state’s economy following COVID-19, and spur development in New Mexico’s biotechnology sector. We look forward to working with Governor Lujan Grisham and state lawmakers to establish a clean fuel standard in New Mexico.”

Additional information, including a full copy of the bill, is available on the New Mexico Legislature website.