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ORLA

Low Carbon Fuel Standard ‘Unnecessary, Costly’ Oregon Industry Says

ORLAFour major Oregon industry associations — the Northwest Grocery Association, the Oregon Home Builders Association, the Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association and the National Federation of Independent Business, Oregon — have joined Oregonians for Sound Fuel Policy (OSFP), a coalition of business groups that oppose a statewide low-carbon fuel standard, which they say is “unnecessary, costly and legally invalid.”

Jon Chandler of the Oregon Home Builders Association says the four new organizations represents thousands of small businesses and major employers statewide.

The Northwest Grocery Association represents more than 200 member companies, with member stores in every legislative district in the state. The Oregon Home Builders Association represents 14 local home-builders’ associations, with more than 3,200 members in every community in Oregon. The Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association represents more than 3,000 members and advocates for 10,500 foodservice locations and 2,200 lodging establishments in Oregon. And National Federation of Independent Business, Oregon represents 7,000 members in Oregon.

The four groups join Oregon’s farmers, recyclers, loggers, truckers, small businesses, general contractors, fleet operators and fuel distributors, who oppose an Oregon mandated low-carbon fuel standard. The businesses say they already engage in numerous required and voluntary efforts to reduce their emissions and their environmental impacts.

OSFP opposed Oregon Senate Bill 488, which died on the Senate floor in the waning days of the 2013 session. That bill would have removed the 2015 sunset on the Oregon low-carbon fuel standard.

According to coalition advocates, proponents of an Oregon LCFS have been making the rounds touting California’s similar program. The legislative battle to remove the sunset date on the Oregon policy will likely continue, perhaps during the February 2014 short session, The Oregonian reports.

And while Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber’s administration hasn’t set its 2014-2015 legislative agenda yet, spokesman Tim Raphael told the newspaper, “the governor is committed to continuing to expand an alternative fuel infrastructure that provides more consumer choice and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.”

Oregon business and other members of the OSFP say Oregon’s existing renewable fuel standard (RFS), coupled with the federal government’s existing RFS2, already yields a 2 percent to 2.5 percent reduction in carbon intensity for fuels in Oregon, rendering the proposed Oregon LCFS “redundant and unnecessary.”

Policies including California’s LCFS have put California is ahead of the biodiesel curve, according to a study published in August by E2 and Environmental Defense Fund. Growing production in the state shows California companies have started capitalizing on this low-carbon fuel.

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