Governors of 11 Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on December 30 that commits their states to developing a regional Low-Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS), a market-based, fuel-neutral program addressing the carbon content of fuels.

The proposed regional LCFS would involve a market-based, fuel-neutral program to address the carbon content of fuels. If adopted by states, it would apply to the transportation sector, and potentially to fuels used for heating buildings. According to a press release issued by the Governors, a regional LCFS has the potential to reduce transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions, which represent approximately 30 percent of emissions in the region, reduce regional vulnerability to petroleum price volatility, and facilitate the long-term transition from petroleum-based fuels in the transportation sector. In addition, the Governors expect that the regional LCFS will spur economic growth related to development of advanced technologies and green energy jobs.

The Low-Carbon Fuel Standard initiative began in June 2008, when Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick sent a letter to the governors of all 10 member states of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) inviting them to work together on developing a Low-Carbon Fuel Standard that would apply to the entire region, creating a larger market for cleaner fuels, reducing emissions associated with global climate change, and supporting the development of clean energy technologies. Based on Letters of Intent signed in December 2008 by state environmental commissioners, the participating states - the 10 RGGI states plus Pennsylvania - have been doing preliminary work toward designing a regional LCFS program.

The LCFS MOU signed on December 30 establishes a process to develop a regional framework by 2011 and to examine the economic impacts of an LCFS while getting input from business and environmental stakeholders. The 11 signatories include Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

Click here for more information on the LCFS work in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region.

John Howley
Orlando, Florida

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