Tell California’s leaders to fund electric transportation, not big polluters

What's At Stake

California is spending billions in one of its major climate program on dirty combustion fuels. It just doesn’t make sense. Adding insult to injury, Governor Newsom is proposing to cut or delay hundreds of millions of dollars from critical zero-emissions programs in the next state budget. We can’t keep giving billions away to fossil fuels and dirty combustion in the Low Carbon Fuel Standard. Help us convince the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and Governor Newsom to change course.

The LCFS was built in 2009, back when we still believed corn oil and other crops were the solution to our transportation problems. It works by requiring producers of higher-carbon fuels, like oil refineries, to direct money to producers of fuels that are supposedly lower in carbon. But in practice, the LCFS program funnels most of its 3 to 4 billion in revenues each year to benefit some of the most polluting fuels: crop-based biofuels that have been linked to deforestation of the Amazon, and biogas from large factory farms. These fuels are undermining our climate goals while enriching the state’s largest polluters, including oil and gas companies, and industrial dairies that worsen the air quality crisis in communities that are already facing concentrated levels of pollution. 

CARB knows this – it heard it from Earthjustice supporters like you during the last comment period and at the public hearing it hosted – yet it still failed to accept the reality that combustion fuels, no matter how they are produced, are not a climate or air quality solution. 

It’s urgent that CARB reverses course and reforms the program because, unlike in 2009, we have the zero-emissions technology we need to replace combustion entirely. LCFS revenue should go towards electrifying solutions like public transit agencies and school buses — not towards the industry’s pet projects and false solutions. Tell CARB and Governor Newsom it’s time to reform the program for a zero-emissions future. 

One of the reasons the LCFS provides lopsided subsidies to the oil and gas industry’s biofuels projects is that it doubles down on combustion fuels as means to solve California’s air quality crisis. California has admitted that we cannot meet federal, health-based air quality standards with further combustion. Further exacerbating the issue, transportation investments that reduce air pollution by pulling cars off the road or removing combustion entirely do not get preferential treatment under the LCFS. If Governor Newsom reworks the program to advance real zero-emission solutions that will deliver major benefits for California’s air quality.

Ploughing 80% of LCFS revenue into combustion fuels is an unacceptable status quo for a state that prides itself on climate action. Tell CARB and Governor Newsom it’s time to prioritize climate action and clean air by reforming the LCFS program. 

An all electric bus driving on the streets of Los Angeles in front of Los Angeles City Hall.
An all electric bus is seen in Los Angeles, Jan. 12, 2021. (Ringo Chiu via AP)

Delivery to California Air Resources Board and Governor Gavin Newsom

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