To promote greater transparency around the decisions being made to achieve California’s climate change goals, the California Renewable Transportation Alliance (CRTA) is sponsoring AB 1012 by Assembly Member Sharon Quirk Silva (AD 67 – Fullerton) to include a lifecycle analysis into the consideration of future mobile source regulations.
Specifically, AB 1012 will require the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to perform a greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions lifecycle analysis, as part of the already required Environmental Analysis, before adopting a mobile source regulation that mandates the use of a particular vehicle technology. Mobile sources include vehicles, engines and equipment that can be categorized as on-road (i.e. trucks and buses) or non-road (i.e. locomotives, marine vessels and construction equipment). The bill will not affect previously adopted regulations nor prohibit CARB from adopting any desired policy.
While CARB is required to perform a lifecycle analysis under the Low Carbon Fuel Standard to calculate the carbon intensity values of transportation fuels, state law does not require this type of all-inclusive analysis for the use of vehicle technologies, like heavy-duty trucks.
A lifecycle analysis (or LCA), often referred to as a “well-to-wheels analysis,” is a comprehensive, scientific accounting method used to quantify the GHG impacts generated by a product or a process over the entire “lifespan” of the product – production to destruction. This analysis includes quantifying direct and indirect effects including the extraction of raw materials, the aggregate quantity of emissions from the primary energy source procurement, vehicle operation and use, and the disposal or recycling of the vehicle materials.
Requiring CARB to perform an LCA for future mobile source related regulations will provide greater awareness of the net positive GHG benefits attributable to the use of prescribed vehicle technologies. Absent this comprehensive evaluation, it is difficult to know whether the technologies chosen can actually achieve the anticipated emission reductions by the identified timeframes.
AB 1012 will be heard in the Assembly Transportation Committee on March 27, 2023.