Occidental is Eyeing California’s Clean Fuels Market to Fund Texas Carbon Removal Plant

A rendering of a planned direct air capture plant in Texas that would initially pull 500,000 tons of carbon dioxide out of the air annually. Occidental Petroleum, which is planning to build the plant, would use some or most of the carbon dioxide it captures to pump more oil out of depleted reservoirs. Credit: Carbon Engineering

Data sources:


Conservation groups seek final approval of clean fuel standard in state budget

Data sources:


Washington Legislature Moves to Approve a Clean Fuel Standard for Washington State

A Clean Fuel Standard reduces toxic air and climate pollution by requiring transportation fuel producers to reduce the carbon intensity in their products or invest in the production of cleaner fuels, such as sustainable biofuels and electricity. The transportation sector is the largest source of carbon pollution in the state, and Washington is the last state on the continental West Coast to adopt a policy to significantly reduce transportation pollution.

“This is really exciting for the future of Washington’s clean energy workforce,” said Matthew Hepner, executive director of the Certified Electrical Workers of Washington. “By creating market certainty for low carbon fuels in our state, we ensure that technologies and fuel advancements directly benefit Washington communities – and are not simply exported out of state. But we must move quickly to implement the program to maximize economic benefits.”

“Finally, families living with air pollution day-in and day-out will get some relief,” said Dr. Chris Covert-Bowlds, family physician and member of Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility. “We cannot waiver in our drive to improve the health of all Washington residents. To eliminate the systemic health impacts of bad air we must hasten the transition to a 100% zero-emission vehicle fleet.”

Washingtonians have worked relentlessly to adopt a Clean Fuel Standard for at least a decade. These efforts have included what advocates considered a “poison pill” added to the 2015 Transportation Package, stating that if the Administration established a Standard, all funds from the multi-modal account would go to highway purposes. This further exacerbated the climate crisis. For the last three years, the House of Representatives passed a Clean Fuel policy–this year it finally passed the Senate. The conference committee step is necessary to reconcile differences between the bills passed by each chamber. The final step is a simple up-or-down vote in each chamber, with no amendments allowed, before the bill moves to the Governor’s desk for signature.

“Driven by the urgency to preserve our futures and the fury for inaction: it was time for Washington state to do what they should have done years ago. We see this critical step as a signal toward ultimate passage. Washingtonians can sleep better tonight thanks to bold lawmakers in Olympia,” said Rebecca Ponzio, Climate and Fossil Fuel Program Director of Washington Environmental Council/Washington Conservation Voters. “This policy means cleaner air, cleaner communities, and real jobs in the clean energy economy. This is what historic climate progress looks like.”

“Our Legislature is just one step away from adopting a historic policy to address our largest and still growing source of emissions,” said Vlad Gutman-Britten, Washington Director at Climate Solutions. “The oil industry has fought this day because they know it will help usher in the end of our dependence on their toxic product. We’ll fight climate change and promote community health all at the same time. “

For commentary: The following health professionals are available to speak with reporters about the implications of a Clean Fuel Standard and broader climate action for the patients they serve.

  • Annemarie Dooley, MD. annemarie.dooley@gmail.com
  • Chris Covert-Bowlds, MD. Christopher.J.Covert-Bowlds@kp.org
  • Mark Vossler, MD. mark@wpsr.org


**Additional media availabilities upon request, including health experts, labor and community leaders, students, and business representatives including from local restaurants**


The Environmental Priorities Coalition is a network of over twenty leading environmental groups in Washington state that influence policy at the state level. For over a decade, the Coalition has selected joint priority issues to work on during the legislative session to help focus environmental community resources and best achieve our shared goals.

@epctweets  environmentalpriorities.org


Hundreds of organizations, local elected officials and jurisdictions, health associations and hospitals, small businesses, unions and advocacy groups support clean fuels and have been working for several years to see the solution come to Washington. @cleanfuelswork cleanfuelswork.com

Data sources:

Renewable & Low Carbon Fuel Requirements Regulation

B.C. Low Carbon Fuel Standard

The Greenhouse Gas Reduction (Renewable & Low Carbon Fuel Requirements) Act and the Renewable & Low Carbon Fuel Requirements Regulation, known collectively as British Columbia’s low carbon fuel standard (BC-LCFS), was introduced to reduce the carbon intensity (CI) of fuels used in the province.

  • The BC-LCFS sets CI targets that decline each year.
  • Fuel suppliers generate credits for supplying fuels with a CI below the targets and receive debits for supplying fuels with a CI above the targets.
  • The debits and credits are proportional to the emissions a fuel generates over its full life cycle.
  • Credits can be traded between fuel suppliers or banked for future use.
  • At the end of each compliance period, suppliers must have a balance of zero or more credits to avoid non-compliance penalties.

The credit market creates a financial incentive to reward low-carbon fuels in proportion to the amount of real, measurable emissions reductions they yield when substituted for conventional fuels. This generates revenue for low carbon transportation fuel suppliers and supports investment in clean fuels and vehicles. Visit Credit Market for more information.

Data sources:


Generating Revenue with California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS)

This recording is the first of a two-part webinar series hosted in collaboration with Pacific Gas & Electric Company about how fleets can maximize earning potential and secure state funding by using clean energy vehicles.

Electric vehicles offer fleets opportunities to reduce operating costs and emissions, but the upfront costs can be a barrier to jumpstart clean vehicle deployments. Thankfully, there are many funding programs available to lower the cost of electrification, including California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) and programs from state and local clean air agencies.

Learn how fleets in California can generate additional revenue by operating electric vehicles and equipment through the state’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) program.

Watch this webinar recording to gain insight into:

  • What the LCFS program is and how fleets can begin generating credits
  • How fleets can optimize existing and planned vehicle deployments in order to maximize credit generation potential
  • How to turn LCFS credits into revenue for the bottom line


  • Laura Espinoza, Supervisor, Electric Vehicle Program Implementation, PG&E
  • Patrick Couch, Senior Vice President, Technical Services, GNA

Click here to register for Webinar Part 2: How to Create a Competitive Funding Application, on Thursday, May 14 at 10 am PT.

Data sources:


California Climate Investments reports implementation of $9 billion in projects to reduce greenhouse gases

Majority of investments benefit burdened communities

SACRAMENTO – California officials say clean vehicle purchases and new projects that have come online since December 2020 will eliminate 11,000 tons of air pollutants and toxics from California’s air. The California Air Resources Board administers the California Climate Investments program, funded with proceeds from the State’s Cap-and-Trade GHG emissions reduction program.

“California’s extreme drought, heat waves, and wildfires make it quite clear we all must do what we can to steer away from the worst impacts of climate change,” said CARB Executive Officer Richard W. Corey. “California Climate Investments benefit our most environmentally impacted communities and help low-income Californians invest in green technology. They also help more Californians engage in the climate fight by driving cleaner cars and trucks that don’t rely on petroleum fuels, living in more energy-efficient homes and even planting trees to improve overall quality of life while reducing GHGs and air pollution.”

Since 2013, the Legislature has appropriated $15.4 billion in California Climate Investments funds for projects statewide, $9 billion of which are either underway or completed. Approximately $4.5 billion of all implemented funds directly benefit California’s priority populations, which include disadvantaged and low-income communities and low-income households statewide. California Climate Investments will provide about 70 million metric tons of GHG emissions reductions, the equivalent of taking 14 million cars off the road for a year. This does not include expected GHG emissions reductions attributable to the High-Speed Rail project.

More than 20 state agencies manage investments in over 70 programs. New investments since December 2020 total 53,800 projects and will reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and promote a healthier California through these projects, including 51,000 rebates for the purchase of zero-emission vehicles and 697 affordable housing units.

California Climate Investments began in 2013 and received guidance specifically for disadvantaged communities from the Legislature through Senate Bill (SB) 535 (2012). It set minimum investments for projects that benefit disadvantaged and low-income communities and projects that are located within disadvantaged communities.

In 2016, AB 1550 (2016) amended the investment minimums for disadvantaged communities created by SB 535 to require that a minimum percentage of projects be located within and provide a benefit to disadvantaged communities. AB 1550 also established new investment minimums for low-income communities and low-income households. To date, California Climate Investments is meeting and exceeding these minimum levels while providing more than a half-million projects in communities statewide.

California’s cap-and-trade program has raised $15.8 billion dollars since compliance began in 2013. The program requires an annual 4% reduction in GHG emissions from the state’s major electricity generators and industrial emitters of GHGs. These reductions apply to California’s 2030 goal of reducing GHGs 40% below 1990 levels by 2030.

The California Air Resources Board has released the 2021 California Climate Investments Mid-Year Data Update, which describes the progress of the program over time and provides highlights from the past six months. It includes estimates of GHG emission reductions and other project benefits.

The California Air Resources Board will also release an updated interactive map including each implemented project in the state. The map includes filters for programs, counties, or legislative districts, and displays additional project-level information for each investment. Additionally, the California Air Resources Board has released an update to the interactive data dashboard, which enables users to easily explore California Climate Investments data. The 2021 California Climate Investments Mid-Year Data Update materials, map, data dashboard, and project list provide project data as of May 31, 2021, and are available at California Climate Investments.

More Information

CARB’s mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy. CARB is the lead agency for climate change programs and oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health-based air quality standards.

Data sources:


CARB approves $1.5 billion investment — largest to date — in clean cars, trucks, mobility options

FY 2021-22 funding plan focuses on reducing climate-changing gases by growing clean transportation in communities hit hardest by pollution.

RIVERSIDE – The California Air Resources Board today approved a far-reaching $1.5 billion investment plan that will increase access to clean vehicles and clean mobility options through a wide variety of projects that support the transformation of California’s vehicle and equipment fleet to zero-emission.

The plan is by far the largest annual investment in clean transportation incentives to date, more than double the amount of the largest past investment. Supported projects range from consumer rebates for clean cars to incentives for cleaner trucks, and mobility options.

Over half of the $1.5 billion Fiscal Year 2021-22 Funding Plan for Clean Transportation Incentives is targeted to benefit lower income communities and those disproportionately burdened by environmental pollution.

“California is backing up our commitment to clean the air in overburdened communities with the largest state investment yet in zero-emission vehicles and sustainable transportation,” CARB Chair Liane Randolph said. “This unprecedented mix of incentives and funding will continue to support our equitable transition to zero-emission cars, and accelerate the commercialization of zero-emission technologies for medium and heavy-duty trucks and buses. The action the Board took today is designed to clean up the communities hardest hit by air pollution and surge ahead in our effort to move away from fossil fuels and reach carbon-neutrality by 2045 or sooner.”

The investments are part of California’s comprehensive strategy for improving air quality and reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector, the state’s largest source of air pollution and climate-changing gases. Funding for fiscal year 2021-2022 marks the first installment in the historic three-year $3.9 billion budget that builds on programs to support zero-emission vehicles and their infrastructure over the past decade. The current investment is designed to accelerate California’s transition to clean cars, trucks, and off-road equipment, including adding 1,150 drayage trucks, 1,000 school buses and 1,000 transit buses — all zero emission — to meet Governor Newsom’s Executive Order to reach 100% ZEV sales for cars and medium-duty trucks by 2035, and for heavy-duty trucks by 2045.

Of the $1.5 billion, $838 million comes from the state general fund, and $595 million from the state’s Cap-and-Trade Program. The remainder comes from the Air Pollution Control Fund and the Air Quality Improvement Program. CARB uses those funds to accelerate development and early commercial deployment of the cleanest vehicle technologies and to improve access to clean transportation for all Californians.

Funded projects include:

  • $525 million for clean car rebates through the statewide Clean Vehicle Rebate Project. This substantial investment is intended to last three years to address an increase in consumer demand for zero- and near-zero-emission cars. Along with rebates for vehicles, $10 million is set aside to support rebates for electric bicycles.
  • $150 million for clean transportation equity investments benefitting income-qualified individuals and those overburdened by pollution. This funding will be used for incentives, outreach, technical assistance and capacity building. One such program is the popular Clean Cars 4 All, which provides up to $9,500 to help income-qualified Californians upgrade an older, dirty car to a new or used zero-emission plug-in electric car, plug-in hybrid or hybrid car.
  • $843 million for heavy-duty and off-road equipment investments. This includes funding for demonstration and pilot projects, vouchers for advanced clean trucks, financing for small truck fleets transitioning to cleaner technologies, and funds for drayage trucks, and transit and school buses, all of which are primed to rapidly transition to zero-emission technologies.
  • $30 million to support small businesses and sole proprietors who provide professional landscaping services in California to purchase zero-emission small off-road equipment, including leaf blowers, lawn mowers and string trimmers.

While transportation incentive programs invest billions to help California achieve climate and air quality goals, additional complementary programs approved today by the board also address critical state priorities, including addressing emissions from back-up sources of electricity during power outages, and continuing CARB’s partnerships with air districts to fund pollution reductions.

Highlights of these additional programs:

  • $45 million to support the replacement of diesel trucks with trucks certified to meet or exceed a low-NOx standard through the state’s popular Carl Moyer Program in the South Coast Air Quality Management District and San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District.
  • The Climate Heat Impact Response Program, intended to support grid resilience and mitigate additional emissions in impacted communities as a result of the Governor’s Proclamation of a State of Emergency issued June 30, 2021.

The Fiscal Year 2021-22 Funding Plan for Clean Transportation Incentives is part of California’s comprehensive strategy for improving air quality and reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector. It builds on the success of the funding plans over the past 12 years that have invested over $2.5 billion to date for clean-transportation projects in California.

The bulk of these funds come from California Climate Investments, a statewide initiative that puts billions of cap-and-trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy and improving public health and the environment — particularly in disadvantaged communities. About 55 percent of these funds have benefitted these priority populations.

These investments have put more than 400,000 zero-emission cars, trucks, transit buses, school buses, and freight equipment into operation in California.

More Information

CARB’s mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy. CARB is the lead agency for climate change programs and oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health-based air quality standards.

Data sources:



CARB approves updated regulations requiring most new small off-road engines be zero emission by 2024

Equipment includes leaf blowers, lawn mowers; $30 million in incentive funds available to help small businesses acquire zero-emission models

SACRAMENTO – The California Air Resources Board today approved a measure that will require most newly manufactured small off-road engines such as those found in leaf blowers, lawn mowers and other equipment be zero emission starting in 2024. Portable generators, including those in recreational vehicles, would be required to meet more stringent standards in 2024 and meet zero-emission standards starting in 2028.

The new requirement, an amendment to CARB’s existing small off-road engine regulations first adopted in 1990, applies to manufacturers and will impact new equipment (Model Year 2024 and later) only. Californians can continue to operate their current CARB-compliant gasoline-powered SORE equipment; there will be no “ban” on using older models or used equipment purchased in the future. Older models on store shelves can also be purchased even if they are gasoline-powered.

Today’s move by CARB aligns with Governor Gavin Newsom’s Executive Order signed in September 2020 that moves the state closer to a zero-emission future. It also provides significant emissions reductions of smog-forming pollution needed for California to achieve stringent federal air quality standards in the future.

“Today’s action by the Board addresses these small but highly polluting engines. It is a significant step towards improving air quality in the state, and will definitely help us meet stringent federal air quality standards,” said CARB Chair Liane Randolph. “It will also essentially eliminate exposure to harmful fumes for equipment operators and anyone nearby.”

Despite their small size, these engines are highly polluting. The volume of smog-forming emissions from this type of equipment has surpassed emissions from light-duty passenger cars and is projected to be nearly twice those of passenger cars by 2031. Today, a commercial operator using one backpack leaf blower for one hour generates the same smog-forming emissions as a car driving 1100 miles.  These regulations will reduce emissions of smog-forming emissions by 72 tons per day.

The amended regulation will set SORE emission standards to zero in two phases:

First, for model year (MY) 2024 and all subsequent model years, emission standards will be zero. These emission standards of zero will apply to engines used in all equipment types produced for sale in California, except generators and large pressure washers. Emission standards for generators and large pressure washers will be more stringent than the existing standards by 40-90 percent starting in MY 2024, but not zero.
The second phase will be implemented starting in MY 2028, when the emission standards for generators and large pressure washers will be zero.

Zero-emission equipment in the SORE sector is widely available. It is quieter, cleaner, has less vibration, and has greatly improved over the last few years. Since 2018, CARB has operated the Zero-Emission Equipment Roadshow, which loans the equipment free of cost for 3 weeks to municipalities and other entities that express interest. There are approximately fifty pieces of professional equipment from eight manufacturers included in the Roadshow. The Roadshow has been to 25 organizations throughout the state.  Many users who may have complained about early models have become enthusiastic supporters (examples include the Los Angeles Unified School District, UC Irvine, Santa Barbara Parks and Rec, Capitol Park in Sacramento, and more).

Incentive funds will be available to commercial purchasers of new zero-emission equipment through CARB’s Clean Off-Road Equipment Voucher Incentive Project (CORE), which was created to accelerate deployment of cleaner off-road technologies. The Legislature has allocated $30 million to be dedicated to sole proprietors and other small landscaping businesses in California to help them purchase zero-emission small off-road equipment, including leaf blowers, lawn mowers and string trimmers.

More Information
CARB’s mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy. CARB is the lead agency for climate change programs and oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health-based air quality standards.

Data sources:


California Climate Investments program implements $10.5 billion in greenhouse gas-reducing projects, expected to reduce 76 million metric tons of emissions

Over 50% of project investments benefit disadvantaged and low-income communities through cleaner air, increased mobility options, expanded access to clean energy, new employment opportunities, and more

SACRAMENTO On the heels of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s latest report on the essential actions needed to combat the climate crisis and how much time we have left to avert disaster, California today released an annual report showing that the California Climate Investments program continues to lead the way to a low-carbon and more equitable future — with 2021 alone seeing the implementation of more than $2.1 billion in greenhouse gas-reducing projects. To date, $18.3 billion has been appropriated for the statewide initiative that puts cap-and-trade dollars to work reducing GHG emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving public health, with nearly $10.5 billion in implemented projects.

From December 2020 through November 2021, more than 75,000 new California Climate Investments projects were launched, delivering significant environmental, economic and public health benefits across the state. The program continues to direct a significant amount of funding to disadvantaged communities and low-income communities and households, known as priority populations. In 2021, more than $1 billion in funding was directed to projects benefiting priority populations. To date, almost $5.2 billion has reached these communities — or more than half of all project investments.

“California continues to lead the way to confront the sources of emissions that are driving the climate crisis while bolstering resilience in our most vulnerable communities,” said Governor Gavin Newsom. “These investments are reducing emissions across our state with projects that provide incentives for zero-emission vehicles and equipment, increase mobility through transit, build resilience to wildfires, and much more. We’re committed to ensuring that the communities most burdened by air pollution share in these benefits, with cleaner transportation options, cleaner air, increased energy efficiency, and more livable communities.”

California Climate Investments projects implemented in 2021 will reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by nearly 10 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent over the course of their lifetimes,equivalent to taking about a million cars off the road for a year. These outcomes and more are detailed in the latest California Climate Investments Annual Reporton the use of auction proceeds from the state’s Cap-and-Trade Program.

More than 560,000 projects have been funded since the first California Climate Investments appropriations were made in 2014, with projects implemented to date expected to reduce GHG emissions by nearly 76 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent over project lifetimes, not including an additional 102 million metric tons that are expected from the first 50 years of the High-Speed Rail Project’s operating life.

Californians statewide are benefiting from investments in fire prevention, affordable housing, clean transportation, air pollution reduction and more. To date, California Climate Investments projects have helped plant more than 170,000 trees in urban areas; funded more than 8,900 affordable housing units and 850 transit projects that expand or add bus and rail service; and conserved or restored more than 720,000 acres of land across the state. Projects are reducing fossil fuel use in cars, trucks and off-road equipment by more than 700 million gallons and have provided nearly 420,000 vouchers for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicle purchases statewide.

California’s Cap-and-Trade Program has raised $19.2 billion dollars since compliance began in 2013. The state’s share of cap-and-trade auction proceeds are placed in the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, then appropriated by the Legislature and distributed as California Climate Investments. That money is then awarded to individual projects selected by more than 20 different state agencies.

Together with the report released today, the California Air Resources Board released an updated interactive map of each implemented project in the state with filters for programs, counties or legislative districts, and additional project-level information for each investment. The Annual Report, companion materials, map, data dashboard and project list are available at the California Climate Investments website.

CARB’s mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy. CARB is the lead agency for climate change programs and oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health-based air quality standards.

Data sources: