Low Carbon Fuel Standard Program Background

This page last reviewed August 18, 2010


This page provides information regarding ARB's Low Carbon Fuel Standard Program background pursuant to the California Assembly Bill AB 32 and the Governor's Executive Order S-01-07.


Executive Order S-1-07, the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) (issued on January 18, 2007), calls for a reduction of at least 10 percent in the carbon intensity of California's transportation fuels by 2020. It instructed the California Environmental Protection Agency to coordinate activities between the University of California, the California Energy Commission and other state agencies to develop and propose a draft compliance schedule to meet the 2020 target. Furthermore, it directed ARB to consider initiating a regulatory proceedings to establish and implement the LCFS. In response, ARB identified the LCFS as an early action item with a regulation to be adopted and implemented by 2010.


Background Information

  • California Governor Executive Order S-01-07 (January 2007) (PDF-27k)
  • Governor Schwarzenegger's Website: Low Carbon Fuel Standard
  • The Governor Office White Paper (January 2007) (PDF-149k)
  • California Assembly Bill AB 32 - Global Warming Solutions Act (Nunez - 2006) (PDF-88k) - Supporting Website
  • California Assembly Bill AB 1007 (Pavley - 2005) (PDF-79k) - Supporting Website
  • California Assembly Bill AB 1493 (Pavley - 2002) (PDF-29k) - Supporting Website
  • UC Davis - Institute of Transportation Studies - Analysis of California's LCFS
  • UC Berkeley - Transportation Sustainability Research Center - Low-Carbon Fuel Standard Project
  • ARB Presentation at the Board Hearing June 21 & 22, 2007 considered approval of a list of proposed early actions measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions under the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006.
  • U.S EPA - Regulation of Fuels and Fuel Additives: Renewable Fuel Standard Program (May 2007) - Final Rule
  • European and Others Experiences:
    • Low Carbon Fuel Activities in United Kingdom (2007)
      • Carbon and Sustainability Reporting Within the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation Requirements and Guidance (PDF-1.87mb)
      • Carbon Reporting within the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation Methodology (PDF-611k)
    • Low Carbon Fuel Activities in Canada (2008)
  • University of California Study: A Low-Carbon Fuel Standard for California - The final report was produced by the University of California for the State in response to the Executive Order S-1-07 - Low Carbon Fuel Standard.
  • May 28-30, 2008: California Biomass Collaborative 5th Annual Forum by joining with California Energy Commission, the California Institute for Food and Agricultural Research, the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies, the California Air Resources Board, and the University of California - Davis to present a 3-day program on bioenergy sustainability and lifecycle analysis (PDF-46k)

Rulemaking Documents

  • February 1, 2010: Approved Modified Regulation Order for the LCFS ad the fourth 15-day Change Notice (deadline for public comment Feb 16, 2010).  For more information...  
  • January 12, 2010: Office of Administrative of Law approved the LCFS rulemaking and filed with the Secretary of State (PDF-66k).  The regulation became effective on the same day, January 12, 2010.  See more details in the LCFS rulemaking website
  • December 31, 2009: Regulatory Advisory: Reporting Requirements: Limited One-Month Grace Period for Regulated Parties Subject to May 31, 2010 Deadline. (PDF)
  • December 14, 2009: Third Notice of Public Availability of Modified Text and Availability of Additional Documents and Information to Implement the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (PDF-38k) , in the LCFS rulemaking website (deadline for public comment Jan 14, 2010).
  • Updated Lookup Tables as of December 14, 2009 - page 6 to 9 of the Modified Regulation Order new sign
  • The LCFS rulemaking package was filed with the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) on November 25, 2009. OAL has until January 12, 2010 to make a determination.  The Final Statement of Reasons and other rulemaking documents can be found at the LCFS rulemaking website.
  • Updated Lookup Tables as of September 23, 2009 - page 48 to 51 of the Modified Regulation Order 
  • September 23, 2009: 15-day Notice of Public Availability of Modified Text and Availability of Additional Documents and Information to Implement the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (PDF-38k) , in the LCFS rulemaking website (deadline for public comment Oct 8, 2009) 
  • Public Comments Received (linked to the LCFS rulemaking website)
  • July 20, 2009: Notice of Public Availability of Modified Text and Availability of Additional Documents (PDF - 37k), in the LCFS rulemaking website (deadline for public comment Aug 19, 2009)
    • Attachment 1Resolution 09-31 (PDF- 1.45MB)
      • Attachment B to the Resolution ~ Staff's Suggested Modifications (PDF - 51K)
    • Attachment 2 - Modified Regulation Order (PDF - 258K)
  • Final Resolution 09-31 and Attachment B now are available in the ARB Board Hearing website 
  • Draft Resolution 09-31 regarding the new Low Carbon Fuel Standard (PDF-51k) 
  • Attachment B: Draft Modifications to the Original Proposed Low Carbon Fuel Standard ISOR (PDF-43k) 
  • 45-day Notice of Public Hearing to Consider Adoption of a Proposed Regulation to Implement the Low Carbon Fuel Standard 
    To provide comment to the LCFS, please visit the LCFS Board Hearing Comments website.  For general information about this rulemaking effort, please visit the  LCFS Board Hearing website.
  • October 6, 2009: Updated the Executive Summary of the Initial Statement of Reasons. pdf 
  • March 5, 2009: Staff Report: Proposed Regulation to Implement the Low Carbon Fuel Standard - Initial Statement of Reasons (ISOR)

Computation Modeling Softwares Used

1) Life Cycle Analysis (without Land Use Change Estimate) 2) Land Use Change Assessment
  • February 2010: GTAP-SOY: Updated GTAP model customized for Midwest soybeans (ZIP-4,910k) and supporting document (PDF-35k)
  • December 2009: GTAP-SOY: GTAP model customized for Midwest soybeans (ZIP-4,159k) and supporting document (PDF-29k)
  • February 2009: GTAP model and modeling files: Corn Ethanol (ZIP-5,246k) , and Sugarcane Ethanol (ZIP-4,864k)
  • February 2009: Biofuel Time - Integrated Model of Emission (BTIME) version 1.1 (by UC Berkeley, UC Davis, and Union of Concerned Scientists) - Modified by California Air Resources Board (XLS-696k)(used in the indirect LUC calculation of the LCFS Staff Report)
  • February 2009: Emission Factor Tables (GTAP, Woods Hole)(XLS-232k)
  • July 2008: GTAP Model version 6 from Purdue University, used to estimate the Land Use Change effect in biofuels for the LCFS Regulatory Process:
  • October 2008: RunGTAP version used for the corn ethanol analysis by ARB, UC Berkeley, and Purdue University:
    • It will require user to log in and verify that you have a version 6 data base.
    • Individuals wishing to access must login separately.
    • Useful reference papers for any written work using this model (PDF-20k)
  • June 30, 2008: Release of Draft of Land Use Change Calculation for Bio-fuels Production by University of California of Berkeley (GTAP model) (XLS-1mb)
3) June 2007: A preliminary version of the VISION-CA model has been posted online. This model was used to construct the scenarios presented in Part I of the UC LCFS study. Please visit the UC Davis - Institute of Transportation Studies website for more information.

Other Information

Related Links

Related Literature

Low Carbon Fuel Standard Overview
  • "Low Carbon Fuel Standards" by Daniel Sperling and Sonia Yeh, Winter 2009, Issues in Science and Technology - publication of the National Academies (PDF-356k) 
  • ARB Presentations delivered to U.S. EPA (443k-PDF), The CA Farm Bureau (437k-PDF), and the American Society of Agriculture and Biological Engineers (501k-PDF).
Bio-fuels Policy
  • UC Davis Report for the Western Governors' Association, June 27 2008: Strategic Development of Bioenergy in the Western States - "Task 3: Spatial Analysis and Supply Curve Development" (PDF-9.6Mb)
Lifecycle Analysis Land Use from Biofuels Diversity Co-Products for Biofuels Fuel pathways
  • Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, Davis Appendix X: Pathway Diagrams June 20, 2005, Wang, Guihua, and Delucchi.

Contact Us

If you have questions regarding this program, please contact John Courtis, Manager, Alternative Fuels Section at (916) 323-2661.

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ARB List Server for Low Carbon Fuel Standard - If you would like to receive an e-mail when changes are made to this website, you can sign up here.

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