Programs

Carbon intensity is a measure of lifecycle emissions (sometimes called “well-to-wheels”) and refers to how much total pollution is generated in the production, transport, storage and use of a fuel in a vehicle. This includes the pollution created from extraction of crude oil or from growing and harvesting crops for biofuels. Here are some examples of lifecycles of petroleum fuel and a biofuel:






"Clean fuels" are fuels that have a lower carbon intensity than the standard for the fuel it replaces. Examples of clean fuels include most types of ethanol, biodiesel, natural gas, biogas, electricity, propane and hydrogen.
Fuel Source and carbon scores chart

The U.S. Department of Energy publishes a monthly Alternative Fuel Price Report which provides regional alternative and conventional fuel prices for biodiesel blends, compressed natural gas, E85, propane, gasoline and diesel. Prices will vary locally depending on location and how wholesale prices translate into retail pricing.

​The U.S. Department of Energy also publishes an interactive map of retail stations that carry biodiesel blends, compressed natural gas, electricity, E85, hydrogen, liquefied natural gas and propane.
​The 2017 ICF study concluded there is enough lower-carbon fuel to meet the Oregon standards in 2025. The 2015 ICCT study also shows that lower-carbon fuels can reduce the carbon intensity of the entire Pacific Coast region up to 21 percent by 2030. Each study shows that reductions are achievable through multiple scenarios.
​In order to comply with the standards, fuel importers can blend lower carbon liquid biofuels such as ethanol, biodiesel or renewable diesel or provide alternative fuels such as natural gas, biogas, electricity, propane or hydrogen. This flexibility allows importers to choose between alternatives based on what works best for them and what’s least expensive and also provides multiple options in case another one doesn’t materialize. Also, the current rule authorizes the Oregon Environmental Quality Commission to suspend or modify the Clean Fuel Program requirements if supplies of lower carbon fuels are lower than what is needed to comply.
Many clean fuels are cheaper than the gasoline or diesel they replace. Considerations must also be made for the additional costs of infrastructure investment or vehicle purchases that might be needed. With the new authority language contained in 2015’s SB 324 and 2017’s HB 2017, DEQ has developed new ways to monitor the availability of clean fuels and track credit prices, along with a new additional mechanism that will be more effective in containing the program’s costs.
​No. By statute and under the requirements of the Oregon Renewable Fuel Standard, gasoline in Oregon cannot contain more than 10 percent ethanol. E85, a higher-ethanol blend fuel that flex fuel vehicles can use, is allowed to be sold when the dispensing pump clearly identifies that the fuel being sold is E85. The Clean Fuels Program does not supersede this blending requirement or impose new blending mandates, but it might change the type of ethanol blended to ones that are lower carbon. Some new engines are warrantied for 15 percent ethanol gasoline, but the Legislature will have to adopt changes to the current law before it is allowed in Oregon as a replacement for E10.
No. By rule, diesel in Oregon must contain at least five percent biodiesel or renewable diesel in order to comply with the Oregon Renewable Fuel Standard. Diesel may contain more biodiesel if requested by a user; there are dozens of retail stations that sell 20 percent blends or higher. Most older engines are warrantied up to five percent and most newer engines are warrantied up to 20 percent. The Clean Fuels Program does not supersede the minimum blending requirements of the Oregon Renewable Fuel Standard, but it might change the type of biodiesels being blended to ones that are lower carbon.