A clean transportation standard (also known as a clean fuels policy or a low carbon fuel standard) is a technology-neutral, market-driven approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from transportation fuels in a given jurisdiction. The policy sets a standard for lowering the carbon intensity of transportation fuels from a certain baseline over time. Fuel producers who produce fuels with a lower carbon intensity than the standard generate credits, and producers who produce fuels with a higher carbon intensity than the standard generate deficits. To comply with the policy, deficit generators would lower the carbon intensity of the fuels they produce or purchase credits from credit generators.
For more details on how a clean transportation standard works, read the Midwestern Clean Transportation standard 101 blog.
Under a clean transportation standard, all transportation fuels are assigned a unique carbon intensity score based on a lifecycle analysis of the emissions associated with the fuel’s production, transportation, blending, and use. This approach is often referred to as a “well-to-wheels” lifecycle.
California, Oregon, and Washington are the only three states to have implemented a clean transportation standard, with several other states considering the program as a mechanism for lowering the greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector.