Leading Scientists Call for National Academy Review of Controversial Provision in the CA Low Carbon Fuel Standard
Say Recent Public Comments From Other Leading Universities Underscore Need to Slow Down and 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.
The letter, dated
“We’re basically talking about increasing the carbon score of some alternative fuels by 40-200% based on dubious economic modeling that is nowhere near ready for prime time, and then to add insult to injury they are not doing the same economic analysis on other eligible fuels in the program or petroleum,” added Simmons. “This is indefensible from either a scientific or public policy perspective and will ultimately fail.”
Although not the subject of the letter, Dr. Simmons pointed to other comments made by other leading researchers in the field. “After reading the independent comments of several other researchers in the field, it is more clear than ever that the enforcement of indirect effects at this time is not scientifically sound.”
Several scathing assessments of the proposed standard have been posted on the CARB website in recent days. Dr.
Dr. Simmons and his co-signers continue to call for what they call “a simple solution to a complicated problem.” They say that Governor Schwarzenegger and the Air Board can adopt an LCFS regulation based on direct, “cradle to grave” carbon effects as planned this week. This will establish a level playing field for all fuels, advantage the lowest carbon fuels, and serve as the foundation of a rapidly evolving policy, they say. The regulation would then include a “placeholder” for indirect effects, including a schedule for completing the assessment if indirect effects for all fuels. CARB and the National Academy would then take the time necessary to better understand indirect effects.
“The impulse to race ahead on indirect effects is not good for the policy or the environment,” concluded Simmons. A full version of the letter can be downloaded here: http://www.arb.ca.gov/lists/lcfs09/244-further_study_iluc_ca_lcfs.pdf.
Links to other reviews cited in this press release are: