California Passes World's First Carbon Fuel Standard

Rule requires vehicle fuel's 'carbon intensity' to be slashed
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 24, 2009 4:37 AM CDT
California expects its new regulation on low-carbon automotive fuel to serve as a blueprint for the rest of America and the world.   (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)
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(Newser) – California has passed a landmark rule to reduce the carbon content of vehicle fuel, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. The regulation, the first of its kind in the world, requires refiners and distributors to begin cutting the "carbon intensity" of fuel next year, and reach a 10% reduction by 2020. State officials believe the rule will provide a tenth of the cuts in greenhouses gases California aims to have in place by then.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said the rule would help transform the state's energy sector as well as tackling climate change. Backers said the regulation could serve as a blueprint for national policy. The move met strong opposition from the ethanol industry, which criticized plans to count the emissions indirectly created from manufacturing the fuel as part of its total carbon intensity.