Schwarzenegger touts new fuel standard

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California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, recently welcomed experts from around the world to discuss his state’s new Low Carbon Fuel Standard, which a Democrat presidential candidate wants adopted nationwide.

The new standard, which Schwarzenegger announced in January, requires by 2020 a 10 percent reduction in the carbon intensity of gasoline and diesel fuel sold in California. The California Air Resources Board is expected to announce regulatory details this summer, but 10 U.S. states and four Canadian provinces already have indicated they will take the pledge as well.

U.S. Sens. Barack Obama, D-Ill., a presidential candidate, and Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, have introduced legislation proposing that California’s standard be enacted nationally. According to Obama’s office, that would reduce U.S. greenhouse-gas emissions by 250 million tons in 2020, the equivalent of taking 32 million cars off the road.

“We can protect the environment, slow global warming and stimulate a new economy of low-carbon fuels all at once,” Schwarzenegger says, “and the Low Carbon Fuel Standard is our best weapon against rising gas prices. A vibrant market in alternative fuels and alternative vehicles gives consumers choices. They would be empowered to say, ‘Forget it, I’m not going to buy your $4 a gallon gasoline ever again.’ “