Global warming and climate change have been hot topics for a number of years as many groups and government agencies look for answers to weather trends and push to lower emissions of greenhouse gases. California is one of the states at the forefront of these issues, with California’s AirResources Board sometimes being called the strictest regulatory board in the effort, making their approval of biodiesel as the most efficient carbon-cutting fuel a win for the industry.
Work to find the cleanest carbon-cutting fuel has been ongoing for many years in California as part of the state’s low carbon fuel standards. The recent announcement comes after a seven year study, taking stock of the carbon footprint of conventional and alternative fuels. The exhaustive research encompassed everything from raw materials to land use change and the indirect impacts to global agriculture economies.
“We’ve always been optimistic about the potential for biodiesel as a widely used alternative fuel. It has experienced continuous growth since it was introduced on the market, but studies with results like those recently announced give it an extra push and provide more data to back up the benefits of its use,” said Amy Sigg Davis, Ohio Soybean Council (OSC) board member and soybean farmer from Warren County who also serves on the National Biodiesel Board.
Considering all liquid fuels, biodiesel received the best carbon score, reducing emissions by at least 50 percent and often by as much as 81 percent compared to petroleum based fuels. The analysis has been validated by independent academic review and further proves the EPA’s qualification of biodiesel as an Advanced Biofuel under the federal Renewable Fuel Standard.
At the same time, California recently approved a 10 percent cut to carbon pollution generated by transportation fuels in the state by 2020, forcing oil producers to decrease the amount of carbon their fuels generate – a compromise to the previously failed push for a 50 percent cut by 2030.
“Greenhouse gases are going to continue to be an issue in this country as well as on a global scale,” said Davis. “The findings of this study reaffirm that biodiesel is a great fit for low-emissions standards and positions the soybean industry at an advantage for potential growth.”