Commentary: California can take lead on clean fuel

This editorial appeared in The Sacramento Bee.

In 1975, California launched the modern era of clean-air regulation when it mandated the use of catalytic converters. Now California is poised to take an equally historic step when the California Air Resources Board votes on a proposed low-carbon fuel standard.

If the Air Resources Board approves the controversial standard, a complicated regulatory scheme designed to reduce the carbon content of motor fuels, it will become the first governmental agency in the world to do so. The goal is to cut planet-warming greenhouse gases emitted by cars and trucks by 10 percent by 2020.

Will it work? No one knows for sure. It's never been tried. The assumptions built into the proposed regulations require the commercialization and substantial expansion of some emerging and still experimental technologies.

Even the ARB technicians who have designed the regulations acknowledge that their full impact can't be known until the program has been up and running for a while.

To read the complete editorial, visit The Sacramento Bee.

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