Eleven states in the New England and the Mid-Atlantic region have inked a deal to develop a comprehensive, regional low carbon fuel standard to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation fuels, including biodiesel.
This press release from the Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection says that state’s governor, Ed Rendell, sees alternative energy as a locally produced, clean source of fuel that creates jobs and lessens dependence of foreign oil:
Transportation fuels contribute about 30 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions in the Mid-Atlantic region.
Based on letters of intent signed a year ago, Pennsylvania and the other states have already begun preliminary work toward designing a low carbon fuel standard. The Memorandum of Understanding is the next step, establishing a process to develop a regional framework by 2011 and examine the economic impacts of a standard program.
Pennsylvania already is making strides in the production of lower-carbon fuels, the Governor said. Starting in January, all diesel fuel sold in the state must contain at least 2 percent biodiesel, since in-state production capacity hit 40 million gallons a year at the end of 2008. Under a state law Governor Rendell signed in July 2008, as Pennsylvania capacity to produce biodiesel grows, the required percentage of biodiesel grows – reducing greenhouse gas emissions and creating jobs in the biofuels industry. Over the next decade, Pennsylvania will replace 900 million gallons of transportation fuel with locally produced alternative resources such as ethanol and biodiesel, or with fuels derived from coal liquefaction.
In addition to Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont are part of the pact.