By Mary Solecki
E2 Clean Fuels Program

Oregon’s Clean Fuel Standard: Moving Right Along

After final legislation was passed in March of 2015, Oregon’s Clean Fuel Standard had some steps to take before starting up. Finalizing the program took some months, but on January 1st of this year participants were first allowed to register, and the clean fuel standard is now in full swing.

Some of the voluntary credit-generating parties have made headlines by opting in, such as Fred Meyer and Tesla, who have used clean fuels for their fleet and


No Chance for Washington’s Clean Fuel Standard After Passage of Transportation Package

The Washington State legislature has passed a transportation package that included the so-called Clean Fuel Standard “Poison Pill”.

This action makes a clean fuel standard (CFS) for Washington effectively barred, by stating that implementing a CFS rulemaking would trigger funding for transit, biking, and walking infrastructure to be moved to the roads and highways fund.

The transportation package passed by the House of Representatives earlier this week left the “Poison Pill” out. However, as time to pass the transportation package grew shorter and the Senate refused to


Clean Fuel Standard Proposed for Washington State

In Washington State, Governor Jay Inslee has proposed a Clean Fuel Standard, or CFS, in early February, to be developed by the Washington State Department of Ecology.

On February 4th, 2015, the Department of Ecology released a discussion draft of this CFS, which would be a key step in supporting local job creation and more homegrown fuel sources. E2 issued a press statement in support of this action, and in March offered a letter of support focusing on it


Clean Fuel Standard for Oregon: It’s Official

On March 12th, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown signed legislation cementing the implementation of Oregon’s Clean Fuel Program (CFP), a clean fuel standard that will help reduce our dependence on foreign oil and expand homegrown production of cleaner, less polluting fuels.

While the CFP has been in process for several years now, the legislation makes clear the path forward to implementation by getting rid of a sunset provision.

Oregon is the second state (after California) to enact a clean fuel standard. As the West continues to lead the country on smart policies that are fueling a rev


Supreme Court Decision: Low Carbon Fuel Standard Upheld, Stability for Market Participants Established

In September of 2013, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals overturned an earlier court decision from December 2011 that put the Low Carbon Fuel Standard, or LCFS, on hold. This decision was in recognition of on an underlying tenet of the LCFS: it puts the carbon intensity (or greenhouse gas emissions per unit of energy) front and center in considering how fuels are valued within the standard.

After the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals decided to uphold the LCFS, the oil industry continued its fight against cleaner, homegrown fuels by taking it to the Supreme Court. On Monday


Oregon’s Progress Towards Clean Fuels

This week Governor Kitzhaber announced that Oregon will proceed with writing “Phase 2” of the Clean Fuels Program. So far Oregon is simply monitoring the carbon profile of the fuels blended & sold in state. Phase 2 of the program will require the oil industry to begin reducing the total emissions profile of the state’s fuels. While specific targets will be determined by the Phase 2 rule, it might be about a 10 percent reduction over 10 years.

Oil companies can reduce th


60 Minutes: Distortion of Cleantech

As a regular 60 Minutes viewer, I was confounded by last Sunday’s piece, “The Cleantech Crash.” My organization is comprised of entrepreneurs, many of whom are doing quite well from the cleantech space, so we quickly sent this letter to 60 Minutes producers on their (unusually) poor journalism.

Still, I feel compelled to straighten some of the distortions played out in the segment. Let’s begin with a few facts:


California Clusters of Opportunity

Last week California Energy Commission released a report it commissioned on California’s Advanced Transportation Industry, and the clusters of opportunity it provides.

Although it lacks a clever acronym (it calls the alternative and renewable fuel and vehicle industry the ARFV industry, which could pass as onomatopoeia for my dog’s bark), the report is a highly useful tool to understand the state of the alternative fuel market, what policies have driven this development, and how to better prepare


Pacific Coast Action Plan: Envisioning a low carbon future for the west coast

Yesterday governors of California, Oregon and Washington joined together with the Premier of British Columbia to sign a Pacific Coast Action Plan on Climate & Energy. The four west coast governments agreed to account for carbon, adopt or maintain low-carbon fuel standard


Biofuel industry update, Part II

This blog is a continuation of last week’s update on the biofuel industry, as told by the biofuel companies themselves at the Advanced Biofuel Leadership Conference- Next in San Francisco and the Algae Biomass Summit in Orlando.

Last week we discussed that many companies are choosing to partner with process specialists in lieu vertical integration, and how research labs, universities, and feedstock producers are supporting biofuels. It’s clear that this is an inter-dependent industry with a culture of learning from and supporting one another.

Here is a quick overview of som


How is the LCFS leading to clean energy innovation and fuel diversification?

In California, our low carbon fuel standard recently received a significant boost. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the standard by rejecting that the fuel standard violates the Commerce Clause. Since then, the market certainty of the LCFS has increased, with oil companies securing both longer-term offtake agreements with low carbon fuel providers and the carbon-reduction properties of fuel products clearly translating to value in the marketplace.



Biofuel industry update, Part I

Last week the advanced biofuel producers from across the country – and even some international representatives – gathered in San Francisco for their twice-yearly industry get together. Hosted by Biofuels Digest, the event is a great way for advanced biofuel competitors to stay collegial, receive industry updates, learn from one another, and form important partnerships that will help the industry succeed.

The event is definitely an inside-baseball view of biofuels, focusing primarily on business models, investments and technology applications. At this stage of their growth, bio


2013 E2 Advanced Biofuel Market Report

Today E2 releases its third annual advanced biofuel market report. The report shows a continual uptick in advanced biofuel production capacity from 2011-2013. Company projections provide adequate fuel to meet the federal Renewable Fuel Standard and California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard through 2016, the furthest year the report assesses.

In short, the advanced biofuel industry already has over 1 billion gallons of capacity this year, which will grow to 1.4-1.6 billion g


Upcoming Event: Clean, Low-Carbon Fuels Summit, August 27th, Sacramento

Please click here to view the draft agenda.

The Clean, Low-Carbon Fuels Summit will take place on August 27th at the Sheraton Grand Sacramento. This half-day educational summit is targeted to policymakers interested in engaging with leading companies in the clean transportation industry. With several bills related to clean transportation and alternative fuels pending in the legislature, now is


Soybeans for biodiesel

This summer I traveled to Iowa to learn about biodiesel production from soybeans. The trip definitely challenged my predisposed notion that using soybeans for biodiesel production displaces food production. I was pretty humbled by how much I had to learn about farming practices, so I thought I would share some of that information here.iowa1 ...

In president’s climate plan, advanced biofuels play a big role

President Obama’s Climate Action Plan shows that he understands how the advanced biofuel industry expands our economy and creates good jobs for American workers in both urban and rural areas.

“Our scientists will design new fuels, and our farmers will grow them,” the president said.

As we’ve shown here at, the advanced biofuels industry is growing. There are already more than 80 advanced biofuel companies across the United States, and they’re part of an industry that could be worth more than $60 billion wi


An Abundance of Alternatives

This Thursday a group of alternative fuel producers and investors will release a report showing just how ready they are to compete against petroleum. The report, completed by ICF International, shows that electricity, natural gas and advanced biofuels are aimed and ready to provide an abundance of alternative fuels to the California market by 2020. The report was commissioned by investors and producers of alternative fuels, including electricity, natural gas and advanced biofuels.

Real world, major alternative fuel producers provided the industry data for the analysis. The repor


AltAir Fuels to produce renewable jet fuel for United

United Airlines released an announcement yesterday to purchase biojet fuel from AltAir Fuels. The announcement is a positive step for clean fuels in California, and proof positive that advanced biofuels are becoming commercially available. Yet in Sacramento, United continues to participate as a member of an oil-industry lobby group that is undermining California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard, a regulation that would further expand


Chevron pulls plug on profitable biofuel venture

Bloomberg’s report “Chevron defies California on carbon emissions” hit the nail on the head when it comes to campaigns against the Low Carbon Fuel Standard: short-term profits often come at the expense of smart policies that can expand our state’s economy and meet our long term energy needs.


Labor community: an important ally for renewable fuels

Many people like to talk about the “green jobs” stemming from renewable energy, but what exactly are these? This week E2 hosted a workshop at the Good Jobs Green Jobs conference, a national gathering of the labor community and environmental advocates exploring opportunities for partnership. E2’s workshop focused on the labor opportunities provided by advanced biofuels.

Our panelists covered the value chain for biofuels and key support from government agencies. Sarah Bittleman of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (recently from USDA) explained that biofuels are an admi


Upcoming biofuels events: Washington, D.C.

Next week is packed with biofuel-related events at conferences in Washington, D.C. In a small and growing industry, these conferences are essential for high-tech businesses to learn from one another, form collaborations, and track the industry’s names and faces.

An ever-growing delegation will convene for the fourth year of the Advanced Biofuel Leadership Conference. There’s usually one or two new business announcements made at this conference, and next week in a blog post for Fueling Growth I’ll give a re-cap of any fresh


Filling up on algae-based diesel

In late 2012, I filled up my Volkswagen TDI on diesel that’s partially blended with Solazyme’s algae-based oil. The partnership between the two companies is further evidence that the advanced biofuel industry is scaling up to meet California’s low-carbon transportation needs.

One prominent global company that’s entered into a partnership with Solazyme is Volkswagen. In two models, the Jetta and the Passat, Solazyme’s test drivers regularly rack up miles fueled by a 100-percent-algae-based renewable diesel.



San Diego: Algae capital of the world

Did you know San Diego is the world’s mecca for businesses that are at the cutting-edge of commercial algae development?

“Algae?” you say incredulously.

But before you dismiss this as an idea that is “20 years away,” let me begin by stating that these companies are already producing a host of algae products that are on the market today.

For example, algae is used in seaweed ...

Biodiesel: From Niche to Mainstream

Last week I attended the National Biodiesel Conference in Las Vegas. I didn’t lose any money at the slot machines, but I did lose a few of my own pre-conceived notions about where the biodiesel (and greater biofuel) market is today (read my recent blog on the basics of this biofuel here.

First, biodiesel is big. This annual gathering started about 20 years ago with a few dozen people, and has now swollen to over 2000 attendees representing major oil companies, auto manufacturers and distributors. It was obvious that t


What is Biodiesel?

Biofuel terminology can be confusing for many people. Some terms are used interchangeably, and some connote completely different fuel and feedstocks, so you are not alone if you’ve wondered what the differences are.

Take biodiesel, a type of biofuel made from oils. Most people have seen – or smelled – a diesel vehicle that has been modified to run on used vegetable oil, commonly the stuff used to make French fries at fast food restaurants. But you can make biodiesel from a wide variety of sources.

If used responsibly, some, such as used cooking oil, animal fat, algae and


Why do we care about biofuels?

It’s interesting how often I must answer this question. I’ve never heard anyone wonder why replacements for non-renewable electricity might be a good idea, but I hear regular questions on the baseline value of replacing petroleum with other fuels.

I’ll tell you why I care: I know we’re going to need fuel for a long time. We need it to fly our planes, ship our products, and many other heavy-duty, high energy needs. We don’t necessarily need fuel to drive our cars, as electric vehicles are proving, but the high energy provided by liquid fuel is an absolute must for a funct


2013 looks to be a strong year for biofuels

Many energy programs are poised to bolster assistance to advanced biofuels in 2013. That coupled with the near-completion (or completed) status of many commercial projects make the coming year look to be a crucial stepping stone in the plight of clean fuels.

At the end of 2012, several companies announced completed construction of commercial or large demonstration facilities.

KiOR began commercial production of renewable oil in Mississippi


Simon Mui

By Simon Mui
Director, California Vehicles & Fuels

Summer Driving Season Begins: California Climate Law Helping Cut Fuel Bills and Health Costs

Simon Mui

Posted May 22, 2014

Californians hitting the road this Memorial Day weekend will be able to go even farther on their gas money this year, thanks in part to implementation of key measures under California’s clean energy and climate law, AB32, including the Clean Car Standards, Low Carbon Fuel Standard, and Cap and Trade.

Fuel economy of new automobiles is at a record high, with today’s new automobiles able to go almost 25% farther on a gallon of gasoline compared to tho


New Study Demonstrates Many Ways to Cut Carbon Pollution, Meet the Low Carbon Fuel Standard

A new study by ICF International, commissioned by a group of investors and clean fuel producers, was released today and found that faster-than-expected growth in many clean, alternative fuels would allow California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard to be met out to 2020.  The ICF report looked at eighteen different alternative fuel technologies that are reducing carbon pollution and helping move the state beyond oil dependence.

Some of the major findings include:

  • The Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) is “driving investment in

Seeking a Fix for California’s Gasoline Market Problems

With pump prices safely in the $3 range these days, October’s record-breaking gasoline surge might seem like a distant memory to California motorists. But don’t go racing to buy that supercharged, gas-guzzling Hemi just yet.

When retail gasoline prices surged by 50 cents per gallon in early October, the immediate cause was an outage at ExxonMobil’s Torrance refinery. This closely followed an August explosion at Chevron’s Richmond refinery that sent thousands of residents streaming into hospitals and clinics.

More broadly, the culprit was our over-dependence on oil, whi