IWLA Says CARB’s Standards Need to Be Proven Effective

The International Warehouse Logistics Association (IWLA) has urged the chairman and members of the California State Assembly Natural Resources Committee to support a bill that would require the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to review new emissions standards for effectiveness before adopting them.

CARB is currently implementing regulations to create a statewide 10% reduction in the carbon intensity of California's gasoline and diesel transportation fuel by the year 2020. This goal requires the invention and commercialization of low carbon fuels that do not exist today in quantities sufficient to meet the needs of the state's market, IWLA says.

Introduced by Assembly Member Tony Mendoza and designated AB 2311, the legislation would require a periodic review of the development of these new technologies. It also would require CARB to avoid unreasonable impacts on California fuel supplies or prices, competitiveness of California businesses relative to out-of-state or international competitors, on the California economy and on small businesses.

“Adequacy, reliability and affordability of transportation fuels are essential to the success of this extremely complex program and, unless the new fuel formulation is a well-researched, properly tested and economically viable, the low carbon fuel standard has the potential to cause serious economic harm to California businesses as early as the first quarter of 2011,” Joel Anderson, president of IWLA, wrote in his recent letter to Wesley Chesbro, chairman of the Assembly's Natural Resources Committee, and the other members of the committee.

These reviews are necessary to avoid a duplication of the unsuccessful implementation of CARB diesel in 1993 which caused market disruptions of price and supply causing economic damages and failures of California-only businesses, Anderson observes.

“The 1993 fuel reformulation left third-party logistics providers with unrecoverable price spikes, stranded costs and fuel shortages,” Anderson says. “AB 2311 allows third-party logistics providers to plan for and embrace low carbon fuel specifications rather than endure a period of unintended price spikes that are inherent in fuel supply disruptions.”

Stephanie Williams, chief of IWLA's California Government Affairs operation, adds, “The bill is important because CARB has had a history of not following through on reviews that compare federal fuel requirements and state fuel standards for effectiveness. But by putting a requirement for those reviews into law, the board will have to do it. The review is to protect the public from price spikes by requiring them to go back and look at why these fuels are not there.”

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