Clean Fuel Standard

The Clean Fuel Standard will curb carbon pollution from transportation, the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Washington, by reducing these emissions from the production and supply of transportation fuels. It will provide an increasing range of low-carbon and renewable alternatives that reduce dependency on petroleum and improve air quality.

How the Clean Fuel Standard will reduce emissions

By requiring fuel suppliers to reduce the carbon intensity of transportation fuels, the Clean Fuel Standard will cut statewide greenhouse gas emissions by 4.3 million metric tons a year by 2038, and will stimulate economic development in low carbon fuel production.

     2019 Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Washington

California, Oregon, and British Columbia have adopted their own clean fuel standards. In Washington, the Clean Fuel Standard works beside the Climate Commitment Act to target the largest source of emissions in Washington.

The Clean Fuel Standard law requires fuel suppliers to gradually reduce the carbon intensity of transportation fuels to 20% below 2017 levels by 2034. There are several ways for fuel suppliers to achieve these reductions, including:

  • Improving the efficiency of their fuel production processes.
  • Producing and/or blending low-carbon biofuels into the fuel they sell.
  • Purchasing credits generated by low-carbon fuel providers, including electric vehicle charging providers.

The Clean Fuel Standard is a market-based policy designed to provide incentives for low carbon fuels. Program implementation is paid for by an annual participation fee.

How it works

Under the Clean Fuel Standard, fuels will be assessed to determine their carbon intensity. Cleaner fuels – those with a carbon intensity below the standard – will generate credits that can be kept or sold to producers of high-carbon fuels. Fuels with a carbon intensity above the standard will generate deficits. Those producers must then buy enough credits to meet the carbon-intensity reduction for that year. The requirement to reduce carbon intensity increases over time, making more low-carbon transportation fuel available in Washington. Reducing carbon intensity means fewer greenhouse gas emissions entering the atmosphere over time which helps to address impacts of climate change.

                                                    Carbon intensity reduction

Frequently asked questions


Agriculture and Forestry Carbon Capture & Sequestration Advisory Panel

The advisory panel is a working group that offers ideas about how to provide incentives and allocate credits to sequester greenhouse gases related to the Clean Fuel Standard through activities on agricultural and forest lands in Washington. The advisory panel is made up of representatives from business and industries related to forestry and agriculture, environmental and environmental justice groups, local government, and the public. 

Find out more about the advisory panel.