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Governor's Low Carbon Fuel Standard: Briefers Cite PHEVs
Jan 10, 2007 (From the CalCars-News archive)
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At mid-day Jan 9, California state administration officials, industry, academic experts and stakeholders held a press briefing about establishing a Low Carbon Fuel Standard for transportation fuels sold in California. Later in the day, Governor Schwarzenegger included the proposal in his State of the State Address. "This is a big deal. This policy will be noticed worldwide," said Eric Heitz of the Energy Foundation, describing yet another example of California leading the world in aggressive, systematic efforts to reduce greenhouse gases.

Under the plan, by 2020 the standard will reduce the carbon intensity of California's passenger vehicle fuels by at least 10 percent. This first-of-its kind standard will support AB 32 emissions targets as part of California's overall strategy to fight global warming.

Much of the discussion at the event (45-minute video stream viewable at http://gov.ca.gov/­index.php?/­press-release/­5074/­, along with a press release explaining the measure) revolved around what agencies planning the initial implementation stages for AB32 are calling "early actions."

PHEV advocates have been predicting that the more planners consider the options, the better plug-in vehicles will look -- because the infrastructure already exists, and because finally, we have the prospects of auto-makers delivering plug-in hybrids. We expect that PHEVs will now start to assume their logical, merited position among the diverse fuel and vehicle strategies to address greenhouse gas reductions. And remarks at this briefing confirm that PHEVs are starting to show up all over. Following are a few quotes from the briefing

DAN SKOPEC, Undersecretary, California Environmental Protection Agency: We already are seeing auto manufacturers producing flex-fuel vehicles that can use E85, that's 85% ethanol, 15% gasoline....Electricity: We already have a small number of battery electric vehicles, we have hybrid electric vehicles and we see a future where we are going to see plug-in electric vehicles. Electricity will be a source for this, and that's why you see some of the people here today.

Dr. ROBERT SAWYER, Chair, California Air Resources Board: We believe that in concert with other programs that the Air Resources Board has, you will see a greatly increased number of alternative fuel and various hybrid and electric vehicles. Perhaps 7 million such vehicles on the road 13 years from now or in 2020. [Later, responding to press question]: The auto industry worldwide is indicating that they're moving toward electric drive systems which fits in beautifully with greater use of electricity, either through plug-in hybrids or through electric vehicles.

TOM KING, CEO, Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E): Hybrid electric vehicles that plug in to California's electric grid are 62% cleaner than the conventionally fueled cars. PG&E will remain focused on making that percentage grow, by supporting and continuing our effort and developing renewable technology and providing the infrastructure to allow for that new grid to take place....PGE is committed to working with the governor and our customers on these technologies...

MIKE BRITT, Vice President, Maintenance, United Parcel Service (UPS): We at UPS have an extensive alternative fuel program nationwide. ... We run approximately 450 alternative fuel vehicles nationwide, outside of the state of California, as well as electric vehicles that Tom just had mentioned. UPS would like to invite all entities, private and government, to come into the alternative fuel market....

ROLAND HWANG, Vehicle Policy Director, Natural Resources Defense Council [responding to press question]: Basically 2 broad categories for fuel providers to pursue. One would be blending of more low carbon fuels into the existing gasoline supply, and that you can do with all the vehicles on the roads. The second general class of options are fuels that are truly alternatives to gasoline; that's E85, hydrogen, electric like plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. Those will require cooperation from the auto makers.

Others who appeared at this event, all of whom spoke in general terms about fuel diversity Linda Adams, Secretary, California Environmental Protection Agency David Crane, Senior Advisor to the Governor Bob Epstein, President and Founder, Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) Eric Heitz, President, Energy Foundation Bill Jones, Chairman of the Board, Pacific Ethanol, Inc Jackalyne Pfannenstiel, Chair, California Energy Commission

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