Friday saw the unanimous approval of a large extension of the Clean Fuels Program, which aids in lowering pollutants that contribute to climate change, by the Oregon Environmental Quality Commission.
Additionally, the commission rejected a request for the Metolius River in Oregon to be recognized as an Outstanding Resource Water on the grounds that it was insufficient and omitted information about tribal and sovereign authority concerns.
The updated clean fuel regulations establish new benchmarks for cutting the carbon intensity, or lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions, of Oregon’s transportation fuels. The present reduction goal is to reduce emissions by 10% below 2015 levels by 2025, and the new reduction goals are to reduce emissions by 20% by 2030 and 37% by 2035. These tougher goals make it more likely that Oregon will remain at the forefront of efforts to reduce carbon emissions from transportation.
With 37% of the state’s emissions coming from the transportation sector, it is the greatest single source of carbon emissions in Oregon. Expanding the Clean Fuels Program’s targets will help us get closer to reaching our goals since it is one of Oregon’s most effective statewide programs for addressing the state’s role in global climate change.
By raising these goals, Oregon will be able to:
• Provide lower-carbon fuel producers significant incentives to keep selling to the state
• Increase the availability and reduce the cost of low-carbon liquid fuels that can be used by current internal combustion engines
• Lower the cost of the switch to zero-emission technologies like electric and fuel cell vehicles.
• Reduce emissions of tailpipe pollutants, which disproportionately hurt areas in close proximity to our traffic routes.
History of Clean Fuels
With the help of the Clean Fuels Program, 7.3 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions have been reduced since 2016, and approximately 1.5 billion gallons of fossil fuels have been replaced with cleaner ethanol, biodiesel, renewable diesel, electricity, and renewable natural gas and propane.
Electric utilities have contributed more than $45 million in grants to community-based organizations, community colleges, workforce development initiatives, statewide public awareness campaigns, and the state’s first electric school buses.
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