What is the Clean Fuels Program?
Launched in 2016, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality's Clean Fuels Program is designed to decrease the amount of greenhouse gases created during the life cycle (i.e., the production, processing, transportation, and consumption) of fuel used in Oregon. Clean fuels have lower carbon emissions, or carbon intensity, which help improve air quality and public health.
The Clean Fuels Program
- Decreases the amount of pollution allowed from transportation fuels used in Oregon by 10% by 2025 (compared to 2015 levels)
- Provides incentives to create demand for cleaner fuels in the marketplace
- Encourages the use of cleaner fuels such as electricity, ethanol, biodiesel and renewable diesel
How does the Clean Fuels Program work?
CFP has identified the carbon intensity value (gCO2e/MJ) for each available fuel type, with diesel and gasoline having the highest carbon intensity. Each year, the DEQ CFP sets the target carbon intensity values of transportation fuels for Oregon. The DEQ CFP requires fuel providers to show that the volume and fuel type they supply for use in Oregon complies with the target carbon intensity level, or standard, for that year. CFP incrementally lowers the carbon intensity value allowed for each fuel type to achieve the 2025 reduction goal.
Producers of fuels that are cleaner (or have a lower carbon intensity) than the target carbon intensity values for the defined year generate credits. Producers of fuels with higher carbon intensity values create deficits. Credits and deficits are measured in metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions. Credits can be sold to offset deficits, which in turn produces revenue to pay for projects that lower greenhouse gas emissions, such as electric school buses and charging stations.
CFP encourages reductions in carbon intensity values by allowing a fuel provider to sell credits they have earned by going beyond the reduction goals for that year. Those excess credits can be saved to offset future deficits or for future sale as demand increases.
Examples of clean fuel providers include entities that own electric vehicle charging stations, compressors for natural gas, or dispensers for propane. Utilities that supply electricity for electric vehicles or manufacturers of ethanol and biodiesel also earn credits that they can sell to pay for electric vehicle charging stations or to lower the cost of producing alternative fuels.