Full Title: Clean Fuels for Washington: Expanding Production and Use of Clean Fuels Will Deliver Economic and Climate Benefits
Author(s): Union of Concerned Scientists
Publisher(s): Union of Concerned Scientists
Publication Date: 02/2015
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Washington has a proud heritage of technology leadership in aviation, clean energy, software, and e-commerce. This spirit of innovation is enabling Washington to become a leader in clean transportation as well, with one of the highest rates of electric vehicle (EV) adoption, a dedication to advanced composite materials used in aviation and advanced vehicles, and biofuel companies turning regionally suitable crops and used cooking oils into low-carbon biofuels.
Cutting oil use with efficient vehicles, clean fuels, and smarter ways of doing business is the straightforward way to help address climate change in Washington. In 2012, state residents and businesses consumed more than 5.8 billion gallons of petroleum products (EIA 2014a). With transportation responsible for nearly half of Washington’s global warming pollution, and drivers spending $15 billion on petroleum and natural gas each year, encouraging the use of clean fuels is a smart solution for reducing the state’s oil use (WSDE 2014; Inslee 2013).
Fortunately, Washington has tremendous potential to produce a variety of cleaner fuels that can reduce the overall carbon intensity of the state’s fuel supply (see the figure, p. 2). In particular, Washington has the resources to produce biofuels made from non-food sources, which can achieve up to a 90 percent reduction in carbon emissions compared with gasoline. The state can also utilize clean electricity from hydropower and from renewable resources such as solar and wind. Scaling up the production and use of these clean fuels will benefit Washington’s drivers and economy in many ways.