Clean Fuel Standard is an economic policy, not just an environmental one: RICanada

Maturing corn. Late summer.

Details of the Clean Fuel Standard (CFS) are expected this coming Friday, as it is scheduled to be published in the upcoming Canada Gazette.

The opportunity for farmers as it pertains to producing biofuel stocks came up a few months ago, and as it stands now is still positive overall.

But Andrea Kent, spokesperson for RICanada (Renewable Industries Canada) — a business coalition that represents biofuels, renewable products, and clean technologies — explains in this interview below that there’s still much to be clarified in the standard.

The criteria for the CFS needs to be clear, especially as it pertains to how farmers will contribute to biofuel production; how the sustainability of Canada’s biofuel sector is measured; and, what that would ultimately look like should also be reflected in the CFS, Kent says.

“So far, what we’ve been hearing from the government and what we expect to see in the draft regulation looks like they’ve been listening,” says Kent.

The CFS will require an increase in renewable fuels, and a decrease in the carbon intensity of the fuels that are used in transportation. “Gasoline in particular should see more and more ethanol blended into it, so that the carbon can come out of the fuels and the resulting GHGs will go down, resulting air pollution will go down, and that opportunities for more domestic biofuel production go up,” says Kent.

Governments have the same GHG reduction and carbon emission reduction targets that they’re trying to tackle, but provincially or territorially will go about solving it a different way. For example, Ontario’s move towards 15 per cent ethanol in their fuel, up from 10 per cent, is one example of how a province may go about working towards solving the problem.

Kent says that it might not just be a volume mixing strategy that gets the government closer to the goal; it may also be a decrease in carbon intensity, or an environmental criteria, such as how much GHG is emitted from that fuel compared to its predecessor.

“Let’s be really clear, blending in biofuels like ethanol in gasoline is one of the most excellent ways to get there, and it’s also available now, we’re already doing it,” says Kent.

Listen on for more of the conversation between Kent and Haney: 

Related: Land-use restrictions reduced significantly in pending Clean Fuel Standard, say sources

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