American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman has written California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, asking for a level playing field in the development of that state's Low Carbon Fuel Standard. The standard requires oil companies to reduce the carbon sold in fuels in the state by 10% by 2020.
Under the proposal, all fuels are assigned a "carbon score" to reward the least carbon-intensive fuels. But, Stallman points out that only biofuels are being singled out for so-called indirect effects, which raise the carbon score. As a result, the AFBF leader says, fossil fuels would receive a better carbon score and a competitive advantage over renewable biofuels.
If the California Air Resources Board carries through with its proposed plan, biofuels' carbon score would be increased by 40% or more. Opposition to the proposal has been strong and wide. Several stakeholder groups, including 111 scientists who submitted a letter to the governor's office, are recommending that CARB adopt a regulation based only on emissions directly attributable to the production and use of the particular fuel.