• July 19 -- NLCFS Project co-director Daniel Sperling of UC Davis, with co-authors, in Congressional briefing

  • The UPS fleet runs on CNG, LNG, propane, hydrogen fuel cells, and electric and hybrid-electric engines

  • A new generation will engineer low-carbon-fuel solutions

  • The most promising second-generation biofuel crops are not foods (this is Miscanthus grass). iStockphoto

  • Gasoline and diesel will continue to fuel much of the American vehicle fleet. iStockphoto/Thinkstock

  • Innovators like SkySails are bringing back wind propulsion for cargo ships

  • New fuel alternatives lie in biochemistry and molecular biology

  • Wind turbines make clean fuel for electric vehicles. iStockphoto/Thinkstock

  • Photovoltaic panels turn solar energy into electricity. iStockphoto/Thinkstock

  • This Ocean Power Technologies buoy will float vertically in the sea, making electricity from wave energy

  • U.S. standards call for tractor-trailer fuel economy to improve by about 20 percent by 2018

Read our reports
Project summaries (July 2012)
CEA Critique and Response (November 2012)


Welcome to the National LCFS Project Website

A Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) is a fuel policy designed to reduce the amount of carbon in transportation fuels. To date, such policies have been implemented in California, the European Union and British Columbia. Several other U.S. states have begun considering similar policies.

In 2010, the National LCFS Project was launched to study the policy impacts and implementation of a national Low Carbon Fuel Standard for the United States. The project is funded by the Energy Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. The participating researchers are from:

  • Oak Ridge National Laboratory
  • University of California
  • University of Illinois
  • University of Maine
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • International Food Policy Research Institute

This website describes the work of the National LCFS Project researchers and is a repository for their reports. It is intended to serve as a resource for all who are interested in learning more about the potential development of a national Low Carbon Fuel Standard in the United States.

Also, some sections of the final reports have been published as scholarly papers in peer-reviewed academic journals, and others are expected to be published soon.

News featured off-site


UCD Transportation Director Presents Low-Carbon Fuel Standard to Congress

By Davis Patch
July 24, 2012
The goal is to provide the scientific foundation and knowledge for the federal government to design this kind of transportation policy and put it in place.


New Group Beginning Talks With EPA On Supplanting RFS with LCFS

By InsideEPA.com
July 19, 2012
A new coalition of academic and research institutions is beginning talks with EPA on implementing a national low-carbon fuel standard (LCFS) that would augment – or even supplant – the agency’s renewable fuel standard (RFS), an approach that members of the National LCFS Project hope will ease several concerns with the current standard. [Login Required]


Scientists, utilities urge Low Carbon Fuel Standard

By Barbara Vergetis Lundin • FierceEnergy
July 23, 2012
"A national Low Carbon Fuel Standard is a promising framework to help solve the transportation energy challenges that have eluded us for several decades," said Dr. Daniel Sperling, Director of the Institute of Transporation Studies, University of California – Davis. "Technologically, an LCFS is very doable. And it can help us address the complex choices with conventional oil, shale gas, oil sands, biofuels and electric vehicles."

More News >>

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