California environmental regulators met with Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and her campaign staff to discuss getting rid of the federal ethanol mandate.
Clinton’s campaign sat down with the California Air Resources Board (CARB), which regulates state air quality and runs a cap-and-trade program. Clinton talked with CARB about “alternatives to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) flagship renewable fuel program, the Renewable Fuel Standard,” a campaign official told The Washington Examiner.
The EPA’s ethanol mandate requires increasing amounts of biofuels to be blended into the fuel supply each year. The program was created under President George W. Bush, and was initially sold as a way to cut foreign oil imports. Now, it’s being sold as an environmentally-friendly alternative to oil.
Environmentalists are increasingly critical of the EPA mandate, saying it’s no better for the environment and may even be contributing to global warming. They’ve joined with the oil industry in calling for the program to be reformed.
California, on the other hand, has a low carbon fuel standard that requires oil refiners to cut carbon dioxide from transportation fuel by 10 percent. The state also operates a cap-and-trade program.
In this context, Clinton talked with CARB head Mary Nichols about what California is doing to cut CO2 from transportation fuels.
Nichols told Clinton advisers “they could avoid political backlash by focusing on other carbon-reduction strategies instead, such as expanding electric vehicle sales and cleaning up emissions from coal-fired electricity,” according to Reuters.