Minnesota Low Carbon Fuels Standard Study

Steven J. Taff, Jeffrey Apland, David B. Kittelson, Timothy M. Smith
June 2011
Report no. None
Topics: Environment

Abstract

Under a Minnesota Department of Commerce, Office of Energy Security contract, the University of Minnesota investigated and developed modeling and analytical frameworks with available data in order to compare the greenhouse gas, economic, and environmental implications of various low carbon fuel standards (LCFS) policies for vehicles operated on Minnesota public roads. This report provides findings of work performed under this contract.

A low carbon fuels standard (LCFS) would require any person producing, refining, blending, or importing transportation fuels in Minnesota to reduce these fuels' average carbon intensity (AFCI), measured across the full fuel cycle: feedstock extraction, production, transport, storage, and use. An LCFS is expected to lower overall emissions from the transportation fleet.

The framework was used in part to analyze a performance-based LCFS that measures progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions on a lifecycle basis and the economic and environmental impacts on each transportation fuel and production pathway as compared to the state's current policies to replace gasoline consumption with 20 percent ethanol by 2013, and to replace diesel consumption with 20 percent biodiesel by 2015.

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Sponsored by: Energy Foundation, Minnesota Department of Commerce, U of M Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment