WASHINGTON – Today, the Washington State Department of Ecology released its draft rule for a Clean Fuels Standard (CFS). The release of this draft is a major step forward towards cleaning our air, increasing consumer choice, and fostering innovation in the alternative fuels space.
“We commend Governor Inslee for his leadership in fostering a market that will help consumers use less gasoline and have more and cleaner fuel choices,” said Shannon Baker-Branstetter, policy counsel for the Consumers Union, the policy arm of Consumer Reports. “A Clean Fuels Standard will encourage innovation and help drive down fuel costs.”
In December, Governor Inslee directed the Department of Ecology to prepare a discussion draft of the Clean Fuels Standard. This is the first significant step forward toward a formal rulemaking, a process that will last several months. The release of this discussion draft begins a review process that will allow for public comments and recommendations for the final rule.
As expected, the CFS will be based on California’s Low Carbon Fuels Standard, and is likely to be technology-neutral and market-based. The CFS is aimed at improving Washington’s transportation sector by requiring fuel providers to produce cleaner fuels, such as electricity, natural gas, biodiesel, or hydrogen; blend existing products with lower-carbon fuels; or purchase emissions credits from companies that are making cleaner fuels to compensate for higher emissions.
Consumers Union believes the proposed Clean Fuels Standard is good for Washington consumers. Increased investment in cleaner fuel alternatives is likely to drive down fuel costs in the long run and lead to more consumer choice in the transportation sector. This will result in reduced air pollution and a decrease in Washington’s dependence on imported fuels.