The cost of Oregon’s low-carbon fuel mandate more than doubled in 2019

In 2019, the cost of Oregon’s low-carbon fuel mandate more than doubled, jumping from 1 cent per gallon to about 2.4 cents per gallon. Additionally, Oregon’s fuel mandate is less than 5 percent as effective at cutting CO2 as common alternatives used by Seattle City Light and others.

During today’s media briefing about the upcoming legislative session, Governor Inslee mentioned that in Oregon, the low-carbon fuel mandate (also known as an LCFS) added only 1 cent per gallon to the price of gas. This is an old estimate from 2018. …

The goal of the LCFS is to cut transportation-related CO2 emissions. In addition to being expensive for consumers, it is also an extremely expensive way to cut CO2. Oregon’s price of $155 per metric ton of CO2 is more than 22 times what Seattle City Light pays to offset CO2 emissions by investing in CO2-reducing projects. California’s LCFS is even more expensive at $195 per metric ton of CO2, making it nearly 28 times as expensive.

Put another way, the Oregon LCFS wastes more than 95 percent of the cost of the program to reduce CO2 compared to alternatives.

Whether you are considering the cost to consumers or its effectiveness at reducing CO2, the LCFS is simply bad policy.

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