New data shows California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard adds 16 cents/gallon to gasoline costs

Similar policy now under consideration by Washington State Legislature

SEATTLE — A California fuel policy is having a significant impact on the state’s gasoline and diesel costs according to new cost data released by state energy regulators.

New data just reported by the California Energy Commission[1] shows the California low carbon fuel standard or “LCFS” now adds 16 cents/gallon to the cost of gasoline and 16.6 cents/gallon to diesel. The California Legislative Analyst’s Office predicts costs will increase to 41 cents/gallon by 2030[2]. In California, the LAO reports that LCFS is approximately 10 times more costly than alternative carbon reduction policies[3].

Lawmakers in Olympia are currently considering Second Substitute House Bill 1110, which would implement a similar fuel policy for Washington.

“The California data underscores that the LCFS is a costly, regressive and unworkable fuel policy, and we should expect it would have similar cost implications for Washington state,” said Sheri Call, Executive Vice President, Washington Trucking Associations. “Proposals that increase fuel costs without providing any transportation infrastructure improvements or significant emissions reductions make no sense. Washington drivers already pay the second highest gas tax in the nation – a combined 67.8 cents per gallon. Washington families, small businesses and consumers can’t afford to pay for costly, ineffective fuel policies with no benefit.” she added.

“We, along with the other members of the Affordable Fuel Washington coalition, believe LCFS is the wrong policy for Washington state.”

[1] Gordon Schremp, Prepared for California Energy Commission, “Recent Trends for Petroleum, Electricity & Renewables,” February 2019.  Oil Price Information Service (OPIS) data as reported by CEC.

[2] California Legislative Analyst’s Office, “Assessing California’s Climate Policies – Transportation,” December 2018, page 30.

[3] California Legislative Analyst’s Office, “Assessing California’s Climate Policies – Transportation,” December 2018, page 31.