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Monday, May 21, 2007


Lab Hosts Low Carbon Fuel Symposium
By Dan Krotz

The International Low Carbon Fuel Symposium was held to focus on ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector, which is essential to meeting the carbon cap in California and the Kyoto Protocol targets. On Friday, for example, Gov. Schwarzenegger unveiled details of the Low Carbon Fuel Standard, which orders a reduction in the carbon intensity of California's vehicle fuels by at least 10 percent by 2020. The invitation-only conference featured more than 100 technical experts in the field engaging in talks about this new initiative, as well as international standards, policies, and emerging technologies.

“I’m confident that California will become the leader in developing government policies, science, and technology that could lead to innovations. These innovations will provide a path to the nation and the world in how we can develop the clean, sustainable solution for the worldwide energy policy,” said Steve Chu in his opening remarks.

“This is our race to the moon,” said Schwarzenegger. “And like that race, this too would be ‘one giant leap for mankind.’ This is the challenge of our generation, and we will meet it with innovation, technology and with a commitment that matches the greatest pioneers in our history. This is what California is all about.”

“We can protect the environment, slow global warming and stimulate a new economy of low-carbon fuels all at once,” Schwarzenegger added. “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.”

Next, retired Air Force General Charles Wald, a member of the Energy Security Leadership Council, shed light on the connection between energy supply, climate change, and national security.

“National security will be impacted by climate change, and we need to do something about that as a nation,” Wald said, echoing the conclusions of a recent report that he helped co-author.

These speakers were followed by three panels that explored various aspects of low-carbon fuel. The first panel, moderated by Dan Skopec of the California Environmental Protection Agency, discussed the implementation of the Low Carbon Fuel Standard in California and beyond.

As part of this panel, Alex Farrell, an assistant professor in UC Berkeley’s Energy and Resources Group and a guest scientist in the Lab’s Earth Sciences Division, unveiled proposed methodologies for measuring and tracking lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions and presented a series of scenarios illustrating how different technologies may compete while meeting the Low Carbon Fuel Standard.

The second panel, moderated by Drew Kodjak of the International Council on Clean Transportation, surveyed policies being implemented or under consideration to encourage the widespread adoption of low carbon fuels. The third panel, moderated by Dan Sperling of the University of California at Davis, surveyed emerging low carbon vehicle and fuel technologies and panelists will discuss the nature and effectiveness of several programs in development.

Go here for a recap of the agenda and more information on the speakers.

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