In a letter submitted to California Air Resources Board (CARB) Chair Mary Nichols on Monday, several leading scientists warned CARB about the premature and erroneous inclusion of indirect carbon effects in the proposed LCFS, and called for an independent third party review of the issue. The scientists, who also submitted a letter in March signed by 111 scientific colleagues, said that ARB staff has not addressed their concerns and more time is necessary to get the science right.
“This is a precedent setting regulation that could be an international model for regulating carbon in the transportation fuel sector. The current proposal includes carbon penalties based on ungrounded and selectively enforced science, which could set us back years in the effort to commercialize low carbon fuels,” said Dr. Blake Simmons, a researcher at Sandia National Laboratory. Simmons believes that the National Academy is the appropriate institution to help resolve the brewing controversy over indirect effects.
The letter, dated April 20, states that “The issue of how to deal with indirect effects … is increasingly controversial from a scientific perspective. We are concerned that unresolved issues related to indirect effects enforcement are needlessly eroding support for an otherwise critical fuel policy. We are therefore requesting that CARB immediately enact an LCFS based on direct carbon effects while establishing an expeditious process to assess and account for indirect effects across all fuel pathways, including petroleum.” The letters says the assessment could be done in 18-24 months, before the LCFS compliance schedule begins to require the use of low carbon fuels. Continue Reading →