Possible winners and losers of the pending Clean Fuel Standard — a LIVE! with Marla Orenstein


Canada’s Clean Fuel Standard is likely to be published Friday, kicking off a comment period ahead of the standard becoming law. For a what-we-know and what-we-don’t discussion, we go to Marla Orenstein, of the Canada West Foundation, on this RealAg LIVE! Q&A.

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  • Who is the Canada West Foundation?
  • CWF has put out a report on the “Citizen’s Guide to the Clean Fuel Standard”
  • Lower greenhouse gas emissions, lower the carbon intensity of the fuel we use
  • Carbon tax vs. Clean Fuel Standard. They are different!
  • Carbon tax is about sticker shock to change behaviour.
  • CFS is about changing the fuel before it gets to the consumption
  • Low fat pizza. Gross.
  • What sectors like it vs are not so good with it?
  • Well, the changes to the CFS announced last week will make some industries happier than others. So mining, etc., are a little happier.
  • CFS is now just focused on diesel and gas, liquids. More in-line with places like California. Increased 2 to 4 cents only (though likely to be more here in Canada)
  • But the government hasn’t let us “peek under the hood”
  • Gazette this Friday? Maybe.
  • So what IS it going to cost? As high as 11 cents per litre, just from the CFS (not the carbon tax), but could be more like 5 to 7 cents/litre
  • Will pumps have to change for E15?
  • There will be a national infrastructure assessment
  • Who comes out ahead? Biofuel manufacturers, for sure. Ethanol and biodiesel. Hydrogen and renewable natural gas will likely not benefit as much as they could have.
  • Do farmers win? Well…
  • Land-use requirements. Devil is in the details.
  • Feds have eased up on land-use requirements, so that’s probably good news for farmers for corn and canola
  • Marker year. Why does it matter? Ultimate objective is to make changes to reach this goal, but not at all costs (other aspects of the environment)
  • Who wins? re: crops. There aren’t restrictions on feed stocks, yet.
  • Is the energy industry coming around to this? The silence has been deafening.
  • Carbon price at $170 per tonne by 2030 adds some certainty
  • But does that price of carbon bring investment back to energy sector? Dig deeper.
  • Electric or hydrogen vehicles? Where do they fit?
  • Can farmers offer carbon credits? We don’t know.
  • Unintended consequences: breaking a criminal law
  • Food vs. fuel discussion. Will people go hungry because of a fuel standard? Likely not.
  • And, capacity. Are we there?
  • Does this set the stage for carbon tariffs?  YES. Likely.
  • We also do need to know the numbers. Let us see the numbers.

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