A Clean Fuel Standard: The Path to a Clean Transportation Sector

In the post-budget legislative session, the New York League of Conservation Voters (NYLCV) is advocating strongly for the approval of a Clean Fuel Standard (CFS) law in the state of New York. A CFS, sometimes also called a low carbon fuel standard (LCFS) or a clean transportation standard, mandates that producers of fuel with high carbon intensity, like fossil gasoline and diesel fuels, subsidize fuels with low carbon intensity such as electricity, hydrogen,  and biofuels.

On Tuesday, NYLCV’s policy team will join advocacy partners at the State Capitol to lobby lawmakers to pass a CFS.

[Urge Your Legislators to Support a Clean Fuel Standard for New York!]

CFS legislation (S.B. 1292), would be a significant step towards cutting carbon pollution in New York by requiring the deployment of low-carbon fuels for vehicles currently on our roads. In 2023, the State Senate passed this climate-friendly measure but the Assembly failed to bring it to a vote. We need the full legislature to pass, and for the governor to sign, CFS legislation in 2024.

As outlined in the CLCPA’s Scoping Plan, even with the most aggressive electrification scenarios, there will still be vehicles running on liquid fuels on the road by 2050. A CFS is crucial to curbing transportation emissions in New York and CFS policies have already proven to be effective in reducing transportation emissions in every state on the West Coast. For instance, the Advanced Clean Car Rule, which mandates zero-emission light-duty vehicle sales by 2035, would not be feasible in California without their LCFS.

Implementing a CFS in New York State would not require state expenditure, and based on the success of California’s program, it would generate economic activity in the transportation sector of up to $1-1.4 billion per year. Additionally, it would have substantial public health benefits in the short term by reducing toxic emissions responsible for respiratory illnesses such as asthma.

Moreover, the transportation sector is the largest contributor to GHG emissions, and the only way to reduce these emissions is through improved vehicle efficiency and clean fuels.

NYLCV strongly urges the State Senate and Assembly to pass a CFS this year. This policy would promote the electrification of the state’s vehicles, reduce GHG emissions and co-pollutants associated with liquid fuels, generate economic activity in the transportation sector, and have significant public health benefits. It’s time for New York State to take action towards a cleaner and more sustainable future. 

05.11.23 // AUTHOR: Michelle Loree //