Washington Senate passes Clean Fuel Standard bill

By Erin Voegele | April 12, 2021

The Washington Senate on April 8 voted 27 to 20 in favor of H.B. 1091, a bill that aims to establish a state-wide Clean Fuel Standard. The amended legislation will now be considered by the House, which passed an earlier version of the bill on Feb. 27 by a vote of 52 to 46.

The bill, proposed by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, would require the Washington Department of Ecology to adopt rules to implement a CFS by 2023. The program would limit the aggregate, overall greenhouse gas (GHG) emission per unit of transportation fuel energy to 10 percent below 2017 levels by 2028 and 20 percent below 2017 levels by 2035. Eligible biofuels, renewable natural gas (RNG), hydrogen, and agricultural and forest waste are among the fuels that could be used to comply with the program.

According to the Department of Ecology, transportation currently accounts for approximately 45 percent of the state’s total GHG emissions. The proposed CFS is expected to reduce Washington’s GHG emission by 2.7 million metric tons per year by 2030.

The bill would exclude exported fuel, fuel used by marine vessels, railroad locomotives, aircraft and certain other categories of transportation fuel from the CFP’s GHG emission intensity reduction requirements.