Overview

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
  • Washington's Clean Fuel Standard began in 2023 with a 1pc reduction in 2024. 

Price assessment details


What are the advantages of the Argus LCFS price assessments?

Argus assesses both spot and four forward quarters for the California and Oregon markets. This enables participants to use forward pricing to match renewable fuel sales in California. 

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 
  • Washington LCFS credits 
  • California and Oregon LCFS costs for gasoline, diesel 
  • Canada CFR cost for gasoline, diesel 

 

How is this assessment used?

Refiners, fuel importers and wholesalers attain compliance in the LCFS through credits generated by supplying low-carbon fuels. These can then be traded and banked, which will help in the coming years when targets become more stringent. For renewable fuel producers, it is critical to see the LCFS assessments and compare the credit opportunities in different markets, while obligated parties need to understand their compliance obligations.