Wash. governor mulls low-carbon fuel standard 

Source: SF Gate • Posted: Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) is considering mandating the use of cleaner transportation fuels as one measure to address climate change.

The low-carbon fuel standard would be similar to the one recently adopted in California, which was the first state in the nation to have a low-carbon requirement for fuel.

The new standard would require fuel producers to reduce the amount of carbon in fuels by 10 percent over a decade. This could be done by mixing traditional fossil fuel with alternative fuels like ethanol or biodiesel.

Inslee has not yet made a decision about whether the low-carbon fuel standard will be adopted or not. However, he has said that greater efforts to reduce carbon need to be made if the state is to comply with a 2008 law requiring a reduction of carbon emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.

Supporters said the standard will spur innovation, while critics argue that there is not enough supply of alternative fuels to make the change.

Predictions about the future price of fuel under the standard vary. According to a study by the state Office of Financial Management, prices could go up by between 10 and 20 cents per gallon by 2026 under different scenarios. Another study, commissioned by the Western States Petroleum Association, found that fuel prices could increase by as much as $1.06 per gallon, a figure that has been widely repeated by Republican opponents to the standard (SFGate, Nov. 30).