Babcock Joins Expert Group on Low Carbon Fuel Standard for State of California

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The California Air Resources Board (CARB), part of the California Environmental Protection Agency, has convened a workgroup of experts on land use and indirect effects of transportation fuels. Bruce A. Babcock, director of the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development and a professor of economics at Iowa State University, is one of thirty experts from U.S. and international academic, research, and governmental institutions invited to participate.

The work of the CARB Low Carbon Fuel Standard Expert Workgroup comes on the heels of a ruling by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency concluding that existing biofuels meet the life cycle greenhouse gas emission limits imposed as part of the federal Renewable Fuel Standard in the 2007 energy act. California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard, initiated in 2007, calculates the carbon intensity of fuel sold in the state and requires manufacturers to start cutting carbon intensity beginning in 2011. CARB's calculation of the carbon intensity of corn-based ethanol has counted indirect land-use change resulting from creating new cropland when existing land is converted to growing corn for fuel.

CARB adopted a resolution to refine and improve its analysis of land use and indirect effects of transportation fuels by bringing together the foremost experts on carbon intensity and impacts of alternative fuels production. The first meeting of the workgroup is February 26.

(Released February 2010)