Bioenergy: ARGUS Low Carbon Fuel Standards (LCFS) price assessments

Bioenergy: ARGUS Low Carbon Fuel Standards (LCFS) price assessments

The ARGUS LCFS price assessments

Argus Media is the only price reporting agency to assess forward pricing for California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) consistent with renewable fuel sales in the state.

About LCFS credits

LCFS programs are designed to reduce the carbon intensity of on-road transportation fuels with an increasing range of renewable fuel alternatives. State fuel suppliers must blend fuels or buy credits to comply with the annual targets. These credits can be banked, which helps with ensuring compliance in future years when targets become more stringent. 

Fuels are issued carbon intensity scores based on lifecycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions:

  • Fuels above targets — gasoline, diesel — generate deficits
  • Low-carbon alternatives — including renewable diesel, renewable natural gas biodiesel and ethanol — generate credits

LCFS credits and deficits remain within the state where the fuels are used:

  • California LCFS requires a 20pc cut in GHG emissions from a 2010 baseline by 2030
  • Oregon’s Clean Fuels Program requires a 20pc cut by 2030 and 37pc by 2035

Argus California and Oregon LCFS forward curves are now available
Click here to learn more about our Americas Biofuels Forward Curve service.

LCFS assessments – four forward calendar quarters

Argus expanded its spot California LCFS assessments in March 2020 to include assessments for delivery during four forward calendar quarters. This enables participants to use forward pricing to match renewable fuel sales in California.

In addition to the California LCFS program, Argus also assesses the Oregon LCFS market daily.

Market coverage includes ¢/USG premiums for ethanol, biodiesel and alternative jet fuel, and compliance costs for gasoline and diesel.


Argus LCFS assessments include: 

  • California LCFS credits
  • Oregon LCFS credits
  • California LCFS cost for gasoline, diesel
  • LCFS premium per carbon intensity point
  • California LCFS market biogas value

Clean fuels programs on the horizon

Significant changes under way in LCFS programs make Argus price assessments, news and analysis of these markets essential. California regulators will begin a new rulemaking to set tougher LCFS targets and potentially reconsider which fuels generate credits and deficits under the program as new North American clean fuels programs emerge. California could be competing in the future with other regions for renewable fuels and feedstocks. Washington state’s LCFS program began in January 2023 and Canada’s Clean Fuel Regulation comes into force in July 2023. From the Rocky Mountains to the US Atlantic coast, state lawmakers and regulators are looking at LCFS programs to cut GHG emissions.

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