In recent LCFS amendments, CARB introduced a new price cap on all LCFS credit transfers and authorized limited future credit borrowing.
On November 21, 2019, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) passed Resolution 19-27, approving several amendments to the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) program designed to foster stability in the LCFS market and promote access to electric vehicle (EV) transportation for disadvantaged and low-income communities in California.
Concerns of Credit Price Run-up
The LCFS is a key pillar of California’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the transportation sector. As discussed in previous posts, regulated entities must either: (1) ensure that fuels supplied in California meet annual, decreasing carbon intensity (CI) targets (e.g., by blending biofuels into gasoline and diesel); or (2) procure and surrender credits to CARB. Regulated entities can buy LCFS credits in the bilateral market or in the Credit Clearance Market (CCM), a CARB-administered market intended to supply cost-controlled credits in the event of a market shortage. The rulemaking appears to reflect CARB’s acknowledgment of long-held concerns in the LCFS market that deficit generation will outstrip credit generation, and the CCM will be unable to adequately cap credit prices. The steady advance of LCFS credit prices since the summer of 2017 is well documented in CARB’s Credit Transfer Activity Reports. The most recent LCFS amendments are intended to ensure that the CCM will continue functioning in the event of a credit shortage and to safeguard against a potential LCFS credit price run-up. Continue Reading