New standards worry biofuel

New DEQ standards aim to reduce carbon emissions, but some biofuel producers say the regulations could hurt their industry.

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Newly passed House Bill 2186 will require suppliers and distributors of fuel to account for all carbon emissions produced in the capture, transport, and delivery of fuel.

The formula for the impact of fuel production is flawed, say some producers, and could hurt the biofuel industry, which produces fuel mixed in to every gallon sold in Oregon.

Ethanol has been blended into gasoline for many years because it produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions than petroleum. But according to Katie Fast, director of government affairs for the Oregon Farm Bureau, certain types of ethanol fuel produced in California have the same carbon intensity rating as regular gasoline because land-use impacts were weighted too heavily. Farmers could benefit from the fuel standard by growing more feedstock for biofuels, but not if those fuels have high carbon numbers.

“We need an accurate standard that looks at actual carbon release and not something that’s (valuing) certain types of feedstock over others,” Fast said. “The thinking already is that biofuels are more expensive than petroleum. If they also have a high carbon number, they won’t be as appealing for distributors to purchase for their fuel blend.”

Read more at the Daily Journal of Commerce.