News

Putting the Fizz Back in the Bottle: Revenue Stream Challenges Facing Carbon Project Investors

September 20, 2023 , ,

September 20, 2023 By Mark Rigby Investor desire for certainty has been tested in the carbon markets in the last few years, particularly in the critical area of generating revenues to ensure project viability. Will the environment improve as carbon markets mature, or will investors and project developers be confronted with continued revenue uncertainty? While other challenges (including technology efficacy,...
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Lessons from 2021 Winter Storm Uri for the August 2023 Heat Wave in Texas

September 12, 2023 , ,

September 12, 2023 By John Wolff In early 2021, winter storm Uri’s cold snap caused blackouts in Texas. The natural gas market and power generation in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT)1 region did not play well together at that time, but since then the state is slowly advancing arrangements to add new dispatchable power generation with billion-dollar annual...
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Flash Report – SRIA Release: CARB’s First Salvo of Proposed 2023 LCFS Amendments

September 12, 2023

On September 8, 2023, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) released the Standardized Regulatory Impact Assessment (SRIA) for the 2023 Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) Amendments. An SRIA is required when a proposed regulation has an economic impact exceeding $50 million. The SRIA must meet requirements of the Department of Finance and lay out the comparison of the proposed regulatory...
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What’s up with all the news on Panama Canal delays and Gatun Lake levels?

August 31, 2023 ,

August 29, 2023 By Allison Bergquist Several news outlets published articles in July and August highlighting concerns about recent transit time trends through the Panama Canal. The Stillwater team had an internal conversation via Slack about potential impacts on West Coast fuels, which we thought might be of interest to our readers. We share that conversation below. First, though, a...
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FLASH REPORT: 1Q2023 LCFS Data Show more than 1.3 million MT Net Credit

August 9, 2023 ,

On July 31, CARB posted the first quarter 2023 data for the LCFS program. In today’s flash report, we offer a quick look at the first quarter data. Our comprehensive analysis will be published in Stillwater’s Quarterly LCFS Newsletter which will be available to subscribers on Thursday, August 17th. The first quarter data show a net credit of 1,340,472 metric tons...
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CPP: The Freshest Noodles in the Alphabet Soup of Oregon’s Climate Programs

July 26, 2023 ,

July 26, 2023 By Allison Bergquist, Kendra Seymour, Leigh Noda, and Adam Schubert  The Oregon Climate Protection Program (CPP) sets a declining limit, or cap, on greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) from fossil fuels used in the state’s transportation, residential, commercial, and industrial settings. The goal of the program is to reduce emissions in the state and accelerate the transition from...
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Why did the retail fuel price spread between CA and WA collapse?

July 20, 2023 , ,

July 20, 2023 Historically, California has had the highest gas prices in the country, mostly due to its unique gasoline specifications, isolated supply logistics that make it susceptible to unplanned refinery outages, high excise and sales taxes, and two climate change programs – the LCFS and Cap & Trade (C&T). California’s constant lead may be a thing of the past...
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Decarbonizing ICEVs and the Quest for Zero – A conversation with John Eichberger of the Transportation Energy Institute

July 6, 2023 ,

June 21, 2023 Several members of Stillwater’s Carbon Crew recently chatted with John Eichberger, Executive Director of the Transportation Energy Institute (formerly the Fuels Institute). The conversation covered the Institute’s mission and dove into a report they recently commissioned – authored by Stillwater – concerning the decarbonization of internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEVs). We thought our readers might find this...
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Regulations Driving the Biofuels Feedstocks Markets

June 28, 2023 , ,

June 25, 2023 by Megan Boutwell, Olivier Macé, and Adam Schubert The U.S. and Europe represent two of the largest biofuels markets globally, with policies in both regions driven to varying degrees by environment, energy security, and agricultural interests. The implementation of these policy objectives varies significantly between the regions due to differences in government structures. A practical effect of...
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Renewable Diesel 101

June 28, 2023 , ,

June 12, 2023 By Jim Mladenik Renewable diesel (RD) is the fastest-growing biofuel in America. It is also the fastest-growing way to reduce carbon emissions from transportation vehicles in California. This article is a basic introduction to RD that explains how it is used, why its use is growing so rapidly, and what to expect for its future growth. What...
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Flash Report: Joint California-Québec Public Workshop on Potential C&T Amendments

June 14, 2023 ,

June 14, 2023 Today, CARB staff held a public workshop on potential amendments to the Cap-and-Trade (C&T) regulation. The meeting was cohosted by the Québec Ministry of the Environment. This is the first workshop concerning potential C&T modifications since the adoption of the 2022 Scoping Plan. The C&T regulation needs updates for consistency with the Scoping Plan. This event kicks...
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Gasoline Market Analysis Experience

May 30, 2023 , ,

May 2023 In the course of Stillwater’s policy work, we have been retained to look at issues like fuel markets, distribution, and pricing. Stillwater routinely analyzes supply and demand outlooks for a variety of clients in both the private and public sectors.   As gasoline pricing has become a topical issue of late, below we bring together and highlight our policy...
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FLASH REPORT: Finally some detail around potential auto-acceleration & step-down mechanisms

May 24, 2023 ,

May 24, 2023 Yesterday, CARB hosted a public workshop to present its considerations around a potential auto-acceleration mechanism (AAM) for the LCFS CI-reduction schedule and a potential step change in the CI-reduction benchmark in the near term. Both proposals are being considered as a way to ensure a steady price signal for credits in the market to support ongoing investment...
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Canadian Biofuels 101: A Q&A with Ian Thomson of Advanced Biofuels Canada

May 10, 2023 , ,

May 10, 2023 Ahead of the Canadian Clean Fuel Regulation’s implementation this summer, several members of Stillwater’s Carbon Crew chatted with Ian Thomson, President of Advanced Biofuels Canada about the current state of biofuels production and usage in Canada. We thought our readers might find this conversation enlightening, so we’re publishing it here. (We’ve edited Ian’s answers for clarity and brevity.) Stillwater: Starting...
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Flash Report: 4Q2022 LCFS Data Show more than 1,653,000 MT Net Credit

May 2, 2023

April 28, 2023 On Friday, April 28, 2023 CARB posted the fourth quarter 2022 data for the LCFS program. In today’s flash report, we offer a quick look at the fourth quarter data. Our comprehensive analysis will be published in Stillwater’s Quarterly LCFS Newsletter which will be available to subscribers on Tuesday, May 9th. The fourth quarter data show a...
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SAF in the IRA Era – How do the incentives stack up? 

April 13, 2023 , ,

April 13, 2023 By Megan Boutwell The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (IRA) provides for a two-phased approach to incentivize sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) production. The first phase, 2023-2024, expands the biomass-based diesel blenders tax credit (BTC) to include a separate per-gallon incentive for SAF. In the second two-year phase, 2025-2027, the tax credit is enhanced so that renewable fuels...
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A flood of RD and a snowballing LCFS credit bank – Is a step-change in CI reduction schedule the answer?

March 20, 2023 , , ,

March 20, 2023 By Kendra Seymour The Sierra Nevada has been pummeled by severe winter storms which have delivered feet of snow in recent weeks. In the wake of these storms, Californians are left dealing with giant snowbanks, weighty snow accumulations straining roofs, and even flooding. But that’s not the only storm California is dealing with. A flood of renewable...
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Minnesota Clean Transportation Standard Act – Take Two!

March 14, 2023 , , ,

March 14, 2023 In the U.S., several programs aim to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per unit of energy of fuels used in transportation. California, Oregon, and Washington all have low carbon fuel standard (LCFS) style programs, one Canadian Province (British Columbia) also has a transport fuels GHG-reduction program, and Canada is in the process of rolling out its federal...
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Keeping Up with the Jones Act

March 6, 2023

March 6, 2023 By Ryan Biggs Chances are that you have heard about the federal statute officially known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920; most people refer to it as the Jones Act. Below we look at the creation of the Jones Act and the philosophy behind it, discuss its potential penalties and benefits, and explore how it impacts...
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As LCFS Programs Proliferate, Don’t Get Behind the 8-Ball

February 27, 2023 , ,

February 27, 2023 By Dr. Allison Bergquist A quick Google image search of “state LCFS policy maps” results in numerous versions of a U.S. map (and sometimes Europe or Canada) with different states annotated as considering a low carbon fuel standard (LCFS). Note: Program names vary, so LCFS is used throughout this article for simplicity. Though British Columbia (2010), California...
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Oregon SB 803 Assessment

February 23, 2023 , ,

February 23, 2022 Introduction In late January of 2023, Senate Bill 803 was introduced into the Oregon state Senate.(1) If the bill were to pass, it would require all diesel sold in the Portland metropolitan area (Clackamas, Washington, and Multnomah counties) to meet a carbon intensity of 60 gCO2e/MJ after January 1, 2026, and impose the same requirement in Western...
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Greening Oregon’s Diesel Pool: Biodiesel and Renewable Diesel Supply

February 22, 2023

February 22, 2023. Updated on February 24, 2023 with the latest Oregon CFP quarterly data. by Megan Boutwell Since the start of the Clean Fuels Program (CFP), the share of renewables in Oregon’s diesel pool has grown. As can be seen in the figure below, biodiesel (BD) is the dominant renewable fuel in the diesel pool. Source: Oregon DEQ We...
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California Gasoline Supply to Arizona and Nevada

February 22, 2023

February 22, 2023 By Christine Martin Why do California refineries produce gasoline for California specifications and supply, along with gasoline for the Arizona and Nevada markets? To understand how the California/Arizona/Nevada supply chain works, you first must understand the U.S. PADD distribution system. PADD is an acronym for Petroleum Administration for Defense Districts. They are geographic aggregations of the 50...
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New Mexico Clean Fuel Standard – Take Two!

February 21, 2023 , ,

February 21, 2023 In the U.S., several programs aim to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per unit of energy of fuels used in transportation. California, Oregon, and Washington all have low carbon fuel standard (LCF) style programs, one Canadian Province (British Columbia) also has a transport fuels GHG-reduction program, and Canada is in the process of rolling out its federal...
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Refinery Survivability 

February 8, 2023 , ,

February 7, 2023 By Christine Martin  With the implementation of the Advanced Clean Cars II (ACC II) and the Advanced Clean Truck regulations, California has mandated that all new sales of light-duty vehicles sold in California be 100% zero emissions vehicles (ZEVs) by 2035 and an increasing percentage of new medium-heavy-duty truck sales be ZEV by 2045. How will this...
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Just how much “reserve” does the SPR have and what’s it for?

February 8, 2023 , ,

February 4, 2023 By Allison Bergquist  You may have seen a lot of news lately about fuel prices and the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR).   Here, we take a look at the origins of the SPR, the purpose of it and some of the potential challenges moving forward.   Another 70s Throwback  Following the 1973 oil embargo, President Ford signed the Energy...
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Low Carbon Fuel Supply in the PNW

February 8, 2023 , ,

On February 4th, Stillwater President Megan Boutwell presented at the Columbia-Willamette Clean Cities Coalition Annual Workshop on the low carbon fuel supply in the Pacific Northwest. The presentation discusses incentives and regulations, supply and demand on the west coast, and the value of low carbon fuel.

Introducing: Stillwater’s C&T Newsletter

December 5, 2022 , ,

December 5, 2022 We are excited to announce the inaugural edition of our latest publication: Stillwater’s California Cap and Trade (C&T) Newsletter. Stillwater’s C&T Newsletter will provide subscribers insight into the allowance and offset demand and price trends. We’re kicking off this publication with an abbreviated, complimentary edition of Stillwater’s C&T Quarterly Auction Summary which presents the results of the...
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FLASH REPORT: EPA Issues Proposed RFS Standards for 2023-2025 plus Requirements for eRINs

December 1, 2022 , ,

December 1, 2022 by Adam Schubert EPA today announced their proposed RFS standards (“Set Rule”) for 2023, 2024, and 2025. This proposed rule also contains substantial new provisions enabling the generation of eRINs. This proposal is the first rule concerning RFS years past 2022, the last year for which the statute contained specific annual volume requirements. As a result, EPA...
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Gasoline Price Spikes: What happened when winter came early?

November 28, 2022 ,

November 28, 2022 by Dave Hackett Gasoline prices soared in California in September until the Governor declared that winter had arrived a month early on Friday afternoon, September 30th.  We wrote about the cause of the rise in prices, and have been watching the situation ever since. So, what happened next? First, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) gave approval...
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⛴️ CARB Commercial Harbor Craft (CHC) Regulation Amendments – RD Headed Out to Sea

November 18, 2022 ,

November 18, 2022 It seems like renewable diesel (RD) is on the radar of nearly everyone in the transportation industry these days. Typically, RD discussions center on California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) and other LCFS style programs elsewhere which incentivize its use. Flying under the radar, however, is an upcoming regulatory implementation which will require usage of RD in...
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Refinery Maintenance Deferral: The Perfect Storm

November 8, 2022 ,

November 8, 2022 By Christine Martin In the wake of skyrocketing gasoline prices in California, refinery maintenance has been quite the hot topic. To dive right in, there are 4 types of refinery maintenance as defined by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA):   Planned refinery turnarounds – major maintenance or overhaul activities which occur on a set schedule  Planned shutdowns...
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So Long BTC, Hello CFPC

November 7, 2022 , ,

November 7, 2022 By Adam Schubert Background  The recently enacted federal Inflation Reduction Act (IRA)(1) includes the sunsetting of the Biomass-Based Diesel Blenders Tax Credit (BTC) at the end of 2024 and replaces it with the Section 45Z Clean Fuel Production Tax Credit (CFPC) defined in Section 13704 of the IRA. We have previously described how this new credit will work...
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What is Stillwater’s Brain Trust Thinking About, and How Can it Benefit You? 

October 4, 2022 ,

October 4, 2022 By Kendra Seymour Stillwater’s greatest strength stems from our uniquely qualified team of experts. Call them OGs, The Big Brains, Senior Associates, Gurus; whatever you call them, they leverage decades of experience at major transportation fuel corporations to help clients navigate challenges with the highest level of industry knowledge, market analysis, policy insight, and emerging technology strategies. ...
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As gas prices soar, Gov. Newsom could save California drivers $1 billion

September 29, 2022 , , ,

September 29, 2022 Update: On September 30, 2022, at the direction of Gov. Newsom, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) issued a regulatory advisory allowing the sale or supply of gasoline in California that exceeds the Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) limits in CARB’s gasoline regulations, from September 30 through October 2022. When gas prices spike in California, Stillwater’s phones start...
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Inflation Reduction Act Sustainable Aviation Fuel Credit

September 7, 2022 , ,

September 7, 2022 by Megan Boutwell Among the many incentives for renewable fuel production in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) is a new set of tax credits for sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). The IRA defines a two-phased approach to help meet the Biden administration’s goal of producing 3 billion gallons of SAF in the U.S. by 2030. The first two-year...
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How does the cost of Hydrogen stack up against gasoline?  

September 7, 2022 ,

September 6, 2022 By Gary Yowell  Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (FCV) are zero emission vehicles (ZEVs) which comply with California’s ZEV mandate and internal combustion engine ban. One challenge facing FCVs is the high fuel cost – due to hydrogen’s unique physical properties. High gasoline prices beyond $4.00 per gallon have recently made it into headlines nationwide; meanwhile, since 2014,...
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RFS Standards for 2020, 2021, 2022 

September 7, 2022

September 5, 2022 by Adam Schubert & Mike Leister On July 1, 2022, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) established the final Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) percentage standard requirements for 2020, 2021, and 2022. These percentages – which are displayed in Table 1 below – were calculated using the renewable identification number (RIN) quantities in Table 2, further below.  ...
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What will it cost to move transportation energy to the grid?

August 3, 2022 , ,

by David Hackett California has big plans to reduce the use of petroleum and replace that energy with electricity. The first goal is to achieve 60% renewable energy by 2030. The next goal is to achieve 100% renewable and zero-carbon electricity while gaining carbon neutrality by 2045.  In between, in 2035 the state intends to ban the sale of new...
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What’s Up Docket? A Preview of Potential LCFS Amendments 

July 22, 2022 , ,

By Adam Schubert  CARB has been indicating for some time that the next round of revisions to the LCFS would come after the AB32 Scoping Plan was completed. With that in mind, CARB surprised many observers by holding an “informal workshop” on potential changes to the LCFS on July 7th. This session had about 700 attendees. The CARB staff presentation,...
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Portland Fossil Fuel Terminal Zoning Amendments

June 29, 2022

The Portland City Council voted to adopt Fossil Fuel Terminal Zoning Amendments on December 18, 2019. These Amendments prohibit the development of new fossil fuel storage tanks citywide and prohibit the expansion of tank capacity at existing bulk fossil fuel terminals. Under the zoning amendments, although the existing bulk fossil fuel terminals in Portland are “limited uses” that can continue to operate,...
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How to Think About Climate Change in 1500 Words

June 15, 2022 , ,

June 10, 2021 by Mike Newman, Director of Parhelion Underwriting   The effects of climate change are unpredictable, leaving businesses to scramble to adapt to new risks in a shifting new normal. How should companies think about climate change? The key characteristic of Climate Change is its unpredictability and the feeling that the natural rhythm of things has been changed. What...
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Possible Market Implications of California’s Efforts to Ban Internal Combustion Engines

May 31, 2022 , ,

May 31, 2022 In accordance with California Governor Gavin Newsom’s Zero-Emission By 2035 Executive Order, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) is developing a ban on the sale of new internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles by 2035. The goals of this ban are to promote clean air in the state and to mitigate climate change. Stillwater’s recent analysis, Possible Market...
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Why is the Price of Diesel Higher than Gasoline?

May 25, 2022 ,

May 25, 2022 By Leigh Noda *updated June 16, 2022 with current pricing data. Stillwater Associates has been queried why the retail price of diesel fuel is higher than gasoline—even higher than the retail price of premium gasoline. “According to AAA, as of June 16, 2022 California average diesel price breached $7 per gallon at $7.002 per gallon while the average regular gasoline price...
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Electric Vehicles: How California is helping to reduce petroleum demand in the face of the Ukraine conflict

May 11, 2022 , ,

May 11, 2022 By Gary Yowell The Biden Administration[1] has been promoting EVs as a key federal strategy to address the current petroleum dilemma brought about by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Using California, the most proactive EV state in the country as a guide, we can examine the effectiveness of EVs in reducing petroleum use. Analysis California’s growing gasoline and...
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E15: Silver Bullet for Gasoline Prices?

May 10, 2022 , ,

May 10, 2022 By Adam Schubert Background On April 12th, President Biden announced that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would issue an emergency waiver of federal gasoline Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) regulations this summer for E15—a 15% blend of ethanol with gasoline. This action was finalized on April 29th. As ethanol is typically less costly than hydrocarbon gasoline, this...
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Flash Report: 4Q2021 LCFS Data Show more than 975,000 MT Net Credit

May 6, 2022

April 29, 2021  On Friday, April 29th, CARB posted the fourth quarter 2021 data for the LCFS program. In today’s flash report, we offer a quick look at the fourth quarter data. Our comprehensive analysis will be published in Stillwater’s Quarterly LCFS Newsletter which will be available to subscribers on Thursday, May 12th.  The fourth quarter data show a net...
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Economics 101 – Supply and Demand (AKA: Don’t Blame “Big Oil”)

April 5, 2022 ,

April 5, 2022 By Jim Mladenik Three major issues have dominated media coverage lately associated with an “existential threat” to humanity: the Covid-19 pandemic, climate change, and the war in Ukraine. Medical science seems to have kept up with the rapidly evolving Covid virus and offers visible hopes for defeating or at least containing it. Some activists see climate change...
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The Convoluted Logic of the U.S. Postal Service

March 26, 2022 , ,

March 19, 2022 By Barry Schaps  Recently, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) announced its decision to phase out the current fleet of 30-year-old Grumman postal trucks, replacing as many as 165,000 vehicles with Oshkosh Defense trucks – a contract valued at $11.3 billion over 10 years. While no one would argue the current fleet of dilapidated delivery trucks need replacing,...
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The tragedy in the Ukraine

March 22, 2022

March 11, 2022 by Charles Daly, Channoil Energy   History of the Soviet Pipelines To understand the energy dynamics of today’s war in Ukraine, it is necessary to visit the history of the pipeline systems that were built during the Soviet period and within the Warsaw Pact countries. Firstly, most of the production of oil and gas is in Russia...
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California Gas Prices Blow Through Five Dollars

March 9, 2022 , ,

March 9, 2022 By Leigh Noda While the national average for regular gasoline today, March 9th, is $4.25 per gallon, California’s average price is much higher at $5.57 per gallon according to AAA. Just last week, California’s average unleaded regular gasoline price exceed $5 per gallon for the first time ever. While a good portion of the increase in gasoline...
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What happens with a ban on Russian oil imports? 

March 8, 2022 , ,

March 8, 2022 By Dave Hackett  Oil is in the news in a big way with the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Until this week, most people didn’t know that the U.S. is an importer of Russian oil. This article will look at U.S. imports in 2021 and put the volumes into context relative to the larger market.   Crude Oil Imports ...
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It gets worse: Pipeline outage in SoCal could cause supply disruptions and push fuel prices even higher!

March 3, 2022 ,

March 3, 2022 By Leigh Noda and Kendra Seymour ——- UPDATE March 4, 2022 @ 8:00 AM: Situation averted. Per OPIS, Kinder Morgan restarted segments of its SFPP pipeline Thursday evening following unplanned maintenance work at the company’s Watson station that had shut down the pipeline on Wednesday. ——- Gas prices are already sky-high in California thanks to the state’s...
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California’s Scoping Plan: What’s the Scoop?

March 2, 2022

March 2, 2022 By Adam Schubert  California LCFS credit prices have been on a downtrend since 2020 with the return of quarterly credit surpluses driven by increasing volumes of renewable diesel (RD), growth in the electric vehicle (EV) fleet, and dramatic reductions in the carbon intensity (CI) of renewable natural gas (RNG). Many see this as an opportunity for CARB...
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Options for Reducing Transport Carbon Emissions

March 2, 2022 , , ,

On February 28, Stillwater Senior Analyst, Jim Mladenik presented at the Bioeconomy Hawaii Forum 2022. Jim’s presentation, Options for Reducing Transport Fuel Carbon Intensity, illustrates the fuel greenhouse gas lifecycle versus that of tailpipe emissions. View a PDF version of this presentation here.

What does the recent growth in the LCFS credit bank mean for credit prices in the longer term?

February 7, 2022 , , ,

February 1, 2022 Volatility in the LCFS credit market and recently released 3Q2021 data showing nearly 433,000 metric tons in net credits for the quarter have left many investors scratching their heads. What does this mean for the trajectory of the program? How should we think about credit prices going forward? Stillwater Associates’ LCFS Team answers these questions and many...
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LCFS 101 – A 2022 Refresher

February 7, 2022 , ,

January 20, 2022 By Kendra Seymour It’s been nearly three years since we published an updated 101-level overview of the LCFS. It’s past time. Today, we’re delivering a refresher on the current rules and the latest status of the credit market. Let’s dive in! What is the LCFS? California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard is one of a group of programs...
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2022 Hot Topics – The Transportation Energy Transition is Expanding

January 12, 2022 , ,

January 12, 2022 By Megan Boutwell Stillwater’s focus for 2022 is the transportation energy transition. Regulations in the U.S., Canada, and the European Union (EU) along with corporate commitments to lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are driving investments in low-carbon alternatives to petroleum fuels. Here are some of the transportation energy transition hot topics we’ll be following for clients this...
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The Social Cost of Carbon Part 3: What Does it Cost to Reduce Carbon in California’s Jet Pool?

January 8, 2022 , ,

January 8, 2022 By Jim Mladenik  Stillwater’s first article on the social cost of carbon (SCC) defined the term and covered how the U.S. estimates the cost of climate change. The U.S. federal government has used numbers varying from $41 per metric ton (MT) under the Obama administration to near $1 per MT under President Trump, and, as of February...
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LCFS Amendment Tales: Chapter 2

January 6, 2022 , ,

January 6, 2022 By Leigh Noda  On December 7th, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) held their second workshop for the current round of potential regulatory amendments to the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS). The first workshop, Chapter 1, was held more than a year earlier over two days – October 14-15, 2020. CARB staff use these workshops with several...
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Are EVs More Fuel Efficient Than Gasoline and Diesel Cars?

January 5, 2022 , ,

January 5, 2022 By Gary Yowell  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), California Air Resources Board (CARB), and EV promoters often claim EVs have three times higher fuel economy than their gasoline counterparts. This is like saying eggs come from grocery stores, which is true, but ignores the fact that eggs originate from laying hens before being shipped to and sold...
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CCS Incentives for Additional Fizz 

November 8, 2021 , ,

November 3, 2021 By Adam Schubert   Recent months have seen several announcements of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) projects in various stages of development. While commercial CCS operations have limited history, deployment of this technology is seen as a feasible way to eliminate significant volumes of CO2 emissions. In this article, we will take a brief look at existing U.S. incentives for CCS applications in the transportation fuel arena.  Is...
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The California Oil Spill – What’s Next?

October 20, 2021 , ,

October 20, 2021 By Nick Griffith We here in Southern California are experiencing our first significant offshore oil spill in some time. It now appears that crude oil, estimated to be about 600 barrels (or about 25,000 gallons), escaped from a fracture in the San Pedro Bay Pipeline which connects Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Platform Elly to Long Beach. Investigations and surveys continue during the cleanup efforts, after which we should know the range of the spill which may include the OCS.   The Bureau...
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The Social Cost of Carbon Part 2: Values Used Around the World & What it Costs to Reduce Carbon in California’s Diesel Pool

October 19, 2021 , ,

October 19, 2021 By Jim Mladenik  Stillwater’s first article on the social cost of carbon (SCC) defined the term and covered how the U.S. estimates the cost of climate change. In that article we also pointed out the fact that the U.S. federal government has used numbers varying from $41 per metric ton (MT) under the Obama administration to near $1...
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What does the recent decline in LCFS credit prices mean for the longer term?

October 19, 2021 , , ,

October 19, 2021 Recent volatility in the LCFS credit market has left many investors scratching their heads. What does this mean for the future of the program? How should we think about credit prices going forward? Stillwater Associates’ LCFS Team answers these questions and many more in our LCFS Credit Balance and Credit Price Outlook. Stillwater’s LCFS Outlook includes historical...
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The Cost of the RFS on Refiners and Crack Spread Growth

October 1, 2021 , ,

September 30, 2021 By Leigh Noda What is RVO and how is it applied?  The Renewable Volume Obligation (RVO) on suppliers (refiners and importers) is the U.S. federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) mechanism that creates the obligation to acquire and retire renewable identification numbers (RINs). For each calendar year, an RVO percentage (RVO%) is developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) through a rulemaking process. The RVO% is intended such that if the...
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Biden Administration Actions to Advance the Future of Sustainable Fuels in American Aviation

September 15, 2021 , , ,

September 10, 2021 By Leigh Noda The aviation sector produces up to 11% of U.S. transportation GHG emissions, and on September 9th, the White House announced a series of executive actions to tackle those emissions by advancing the production and use of cleaner and more sustainable fuels across American aviation, improving aircraft fuel efficiency, and reducing emissions from airports. These...
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How might a Minnesota LCFS play out?

September 14, 2021 , , ,

September 14, 2021 by Adam Schubert In the U.S., several programs aim to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per unit of energy of fuels used in transportation. California and Oregon both have low carbon fuel standard (LCFS) programs, one Canadian Province (British Columbia) also has a transport fuels GHG-reduction program, and Canada is in the process of rolling out its...
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The Oil Industry’s Bright Green Energy Future

September 2, 2021 , , ,

September 2, 2021 by Mike Newman, Director of Parhelion Underwriting The Oil industry is under pressure on many fronts in the climate change era, not least of which is from their shareholders. First, the background, from the investors’ perspective. Over the past 15 years, the annual total returns to shareholders for the average oil and gas company has lagged the S&P...
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