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Public invited to comment on rule for Clean Fuel Standard

New climate policy will reduce carbon pollution from transportation – Washington’s largest source of greenhouse gas emissions

The Washington Department of Ecology is seeking public comment on the proposed rule for the Clean Fuel Standard, a new state climate policy effective Jan. 1, 2023.

The Clean Fuel Standard incentivizes fuel suppliers to reduce the carbon intensity of transportation fuels 20 percent by 2038, eventually decreasing greenhouse gas emissions in Washington by 4.3 million metric tons a year.

“Transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions statewide, accounting for about 45 percent of all our emissions,” said Joel Creswell, Ecology’s Climate Policy section manager. “The Clean Fuel Standard will provide opportunities to quickly lower our greenhouse gas emissions, at the same time stimulating investments in low-carbon fuel production and technology.”

“Carbon intensity” measures the amount of carbon produced throughout a fuel’s lifecycle. Under the Clean Fuel Standard, businesses that produce cleaner fuels can earn credits, while those making high-carbon fuels accumulate deficits. The credits can then be sold or traded to cancel out deficits, incentivizing innovation in the clean fuels market.

The rulemaking also amends the air quality fee rule (Chapter 173-455 WAC) to create a new fee for participants, in order to recover the costs of developing and implementing the new program.

The Clean Fuel Standard will work alongside other state climate policies, including the Climate Commitment Act and the Zero Emission Vehicle Standard, to achieve Washington’s goal of net zero emissions by 2050. Oregon and California already have similar clean fuel policies, and Washington is required to, wherever possible, align its new standard to provide consistency across West Coast states.

Ecology invites the public to learn about the proposed program rule for the Clean Fuel Standard and share input from July 18 through Aug. 31, 2022.

Submit comments online, by mail, or at a public hearing.

Mail to: Rachel Assink, Department of Ecology Air Quality Program, P.O. Box 47600 Olympia, WA 98504-7600.

Ecology will hold a virtual public hearing at 10 a.m. Aug. 23. At the hearing, Ecology staff will provide an overview of the Clean Fuel Standard and the proposed rule, followed by a question-and-answer period and public comment.


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