Researchers say U.S. should adopt low-carbon fuel standard

University researchers are urging the U.S. to pass a low-carbon fuel standard.
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University researchers are urging the U.S. to pass a low-carbon fuel standard for cheaper, cleaner gas. 

Scientists from six of the nation’s leading research institutions, including the University of California Davis, have found that fuels will be cleaner and cheaper in the future if the U.S. adopts a national low-carbon fuel standard.

This finding and others will be detailed in a series of studies released Thursday at a bipartisan briefing on Capitol Hill. The scientists will be joined at the briefing by representatives of the automobile, electric utility and biofuels industries.

A low-carbon fuel standard is designed to reduce the carbon footprint of transportation fuels.

“A national low-carbon fuel standard is a promising framework to help solve the transportation energy challenges that have eluded us for several decades,” Daniel Sperling, director of the Institute of Transportation Studies at UC Davis, said in a statement. “Technologically, an LCFS is very doable. And it can help us address the complex choices with conventional oil, shale gas, oil sands, biofuels and electric vehicles.”

A national standard would require energy companies to meet a carbon intensity target, leaving it up to companies to decide how to reach that goal. An oil company, for example, might choose to diversify into electric or hydrogen fuels or add more low-carbon biofuels to its mix of offerings. Or a company could buy credits from companies that specialize in low-carbon fuels.

Read more in the Sacramento Business Journal.

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