Midwest ethanol producers are attempting to get Jay Inslee to re-consider his push to adopt a low carbon fuel standard (LCFS)—a fuel mandate that is projected to add more than $1 to the price of gas. Last week, Growth Energy—an industry advocacy group—“sent a letter to Inslee’s administration warning that a ‘California-style’ policy would have slight environmental benefit.”
Growth Energy sought to primarily address a study commissioned by Washington State that claims U.S. corn ethanol has “roughly twice the carbon footprint as ethanol made from Brazilian sugar cane.” The study assumes that transitioning from consumption of corn ethanol as the state’s main alternative fuel source to sugarcane ethanol would “help Washington reduce greenhouse gases from vehicles.”
The problem is, the study fails to consider individual state mandates (like California’s low carbon fuels standard, adopted in 2007) only “lead to ethanol being consumed elsewhere.” Chris Bliley, Growth Energy’s director of regulatory affairs, wrote,
“Ethanol to which California has assigned a high carbon-intensity score may not be sold in California, but it is sold elsewhere… To date there has been no net reduction in (carbon) emissions nationwide; the only impact has been ‘fuel shuffling,’ a resulting phenomenon which itself is likely to increase (carbon) emissions by requiring the transport of ethanol and other fuels further distances.”
So, why would Inslee want to implement a fuel mandate that would have no net reduction of carbon emissions nationwide, actually threatens to increase emissions due to increased transport distances and poses financial risks to hardworking Washington families? Because, in the words of Inslee, he believes he has to do this because it’s what he believes.
Ladies and gentlemen, your green governor:
“It’s a really important question about why our state should move forward even though you are entirely correct that we cannot solve it on this problem on our own. That is actually accurate statement…so the question is if we can’t solve this problem on our own why should we act. This is the best answer that I have. I believe I have to do this because it’s what I believe.”