Clean Fuel Standards work in Oregon

Ever think about how much pollution 365,000 cars can produce in a year? Almost 1.7 million metric tons of greenhouse gases, and good statewide policy has kept that massive amount of bad stuff from filling our air since Clean Fuel Standard began in 2016.

In 2017 alone, the program prevented 929,105 tons, according to recent reports, which includes the Beaverton School District’s project to convert the state’s largest bus fleet to run off of propane instead of dirty diesel. Propane is less costly, burns cleaner, and it’s one of the cleaner fuels state lawmakers identified as alternatives to polluting fuels.

With nearly 40 percent of Oregon’s carbon footprint coming from the transportation sector, the Clean Fuel Standard requires a 10-percent reduction in pollution in 10 years. The program’s more than 150 participants, including oil companies, clean fuel generators, organizations span the state from Portland to Medford and Klamath Falls to Boardman.

The Clean Fuels Standard is the only policy that directly goes after the harmful impacts of polluting fuels by incentivizing the use of cleaner fuels and technology or a transition to electric fleets. That’s important because emissions from transportation sectors are now the United States’ leading contribution toward climate change.

So let’s celebrate success. Fred Meyers for example, with its 40-truck fleet at the Clackamas-based distribution center, participates and uses renewable natural gas. Their participation has prevented 5,328 metric tons of pollution from emission. Each truck, which travels approximately 175 miles a day, would have polluted the same as 159 passenger cars in a single year.

Renewable diesel fuel entered the mix in Oregon’s program for the first time in 2017, further expanding offerings which already include electricity, biodiesel, biogas and others. Fuel diversity is one of the ways a state can protect consumers from volatile, internationally driven gasoline and diesel prices.

Oregon is a trailblazer; only the 2nd U.S. state to adopt a Clean Fuels Standard behind California, which is about to double its program’s pollution reductions. British Columbia has a similar, successful program and the Canadian Federal Government is looking to take the standard nationwide.

For more information from the 2017 report by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality visit: