Ag group demands fair treatment for biofuels

A California law would tax fuels with more carbon.
A California law would tax fuels with more carbon.
The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) is protesting a proposal by California lawmakers that would artificially score biofuels based on "indirect effects," in rating the carbon content of fuels.

California is considering implementing a Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) requiring oil companies to reduce the carbon sold in fuels in the state by 10 percent by 2020. Under the proposal, all fuels are assigned a carbon score to reward the least carbon-intensive fuels. But the current proposal would "single out" biofuels for so-called indirect effects, the AFBF said.

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has proposed a carbon penalty against biofuels increasing the carbon score of these fuels by 40 percent or more due to the belief that every acre of corn planted for ethanol production requires another acre to replace it. AFBF said this is a faulty and unproven concept.

AFBF President Bob Stallman called for a "level playing field" for all fuels in a letter to California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Several other stakeholder groups have recommended that LCFS regulation be based only on emissions directly attributable to the production and use of the particular fuel.