Second Year Success: Oregon’s Clean Fuels Standard Continues to Impress

Transportation is a leading source of Oregon greenhouse gas emissions. Cars, trucks and buses are responsible for nearly 40% of our state’s climate pollution. That’s why the Clean Fuels Standard is so critical.

The Oregon Clean Fuels Standard was first passed in 2009 and reauthorized in 2015 against intense oil industry opposition. Thanks to this game changing legislation, Oregonians now have more choices at the pump, while alternative fuel producers are able to thrive.

The standard ranks fuels according to their life-cycle climate impact and rewards the lowest carbon fuels the most. This creates a built-in incentive for continuous innovation and improvement. Examples of some of the lowest carbon fuels include biogas produced from waste streams or electricity generated from renewable energy. As we look back on the second year of the Clean Fuels Standard, we’re inspired by the standard’s continued success for business, the environment, and our communities. Here are the highlights:

Business Benefits
The standard is celebrating its second year of success, and you only have to glance at the numbers to see just how well it’s working. Small businesses, large fleets, and transit operators have all been able to take advantage of Oregon’s Clean Fuels Standard — and the list of program participants continues to grow. Clean Fuels credit generators, from CNG-fueled trash hauling trucks to Tri-Met charging ahead with electric buses, companies across the state are enjoying a new revenue stream, decreased maintenance costs, and cleaner air thanks to their use of clean fuels. The program sure has come a long way since Fred Meyer signed on as the first Oregon company to join!

Jobs Jobs Jobs!
Oregon’s Clean Fuels Standard helped fuel job growth at the state’s only biodiesel manufacturer. SeQuential, which is based in Portland and operates a biodiesel production facility in Salem, has hired 100 new employees since the legislation took effect in January 2016. That brings the company to about 250 employees.

Cleaner Air, Healthier Climate
Gas and diesel emit a toxic cocktail of pollutants into our air: benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylenes, formaldehyde, 1,3-butadiene, and diesel particulate matter, among others. But electric vehicles produce no tailpipe emissions, and the total emissions associated with driving EVs is less than those for gasoline cars—particularly if the electricity is generated from renewable energy sources like wind. Oregon’s Clean Fuels Standard is incentivizing electric vehicle use and helping expand EV infrastructure, resulting in cleaner air and healthier communities. So far, the program has accounted for 1.2 million metric tons of pollution reduced.

Cost Effective
The Oregon Clean Fuels Standard is a performance-based program that allows businesses to find the cheapest compliance option. In 2017, program costs were just a fraction of a penny.

Diverse Fuel Options
Oregon’s Clean Fuels Standard supports many low carbon, cleaner burning fuels types. From renewable gas to biodiesel and electricity, the latest figures from DEQ illustrate the growing amount of diverse fuel options that are available, and that they are available in abundance!

In its second year, the Oregon’s Clean Fuels Standard has continued to impress. We can’t wait to see what success stories this next year will bring! We’ll continue to share the good news here, so stay tuned!