Carbon Intensity (CI) Scores in California

In our prior post, we described how California pioneered the use of Carbon Intensity (CI) scores for fuels. This strategy is part of a plan by the state to lower fuel emissions 80% below 1990 levels by 2050.

Carbon Intensity (CI) scores target the carbon released by fossil fuels. They work by assigning a value or score to fuels based on the amount of carbon released when the fuel is produced, transported, and used.

Computer screen with blurred data on it

These programs force fuel distributors to purchase carbon credits each year.

To reduce emissions below 1990 levels, California has set up their own system, called the Low Carbon Fuel Standard Program. Fuel providers must pay fees for producing and using fuels with high CI scores. These “fees” come through the state’s trading system and forces fuel distributors to buy carbon credits every year.

Similar Programs in Washington and Oregon

California’s system has been mirrored in Washington state’s Clean Fuel Standard, and Oregon should be close behind with its Clean Fuels Program. Is there a way to mitigate or lower these “fees” from these states?

Renewable propane is one sustainable option

Renewable propane has a CI score of 15-30 (depending on transportation costs). This alternative fuel may be a necessity for propane distribution in the future for states with programs like those in California, Washington, and Oregon.

The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) has been consistent in advocating for renewable propane, as well as in helping to educate the public and propane dealers on its benefits.

Concerns with Renewable Propane

However, there are still three major concerns at this point.

Gas burner on stove

Renewable propane supply is not enough to meet today’s demand.

  1. First, renewable propane is not in abundant supply and likely won’t be for decades.
  2. Second, the West Coast states have intentionally been ahead in their legislation and implementation. Any renewable propane should move to that region.
  3. Finally, many states have not created a need for carbon neutrality.

This last point is what we want to focus on in our next few posts. We want to show fuel distributors in the rest of the United States how they can be proactive in dealing with the coming push for carbon neutrality. Contact your Twin Feathers team for expert advice about carbon neutrality customized for your business.

Want to discuss how your business can be carbon neutral?