Golden Gate University Law Review


This Comment examines the implementation and perceived effectiveness of measures like California’s LCFS (Low Carbon Fuel Standard). The following Parts explore the United States’ arrested development in implementing effective market-based measures to reduce GHGs, and how a market-based approach to incentivize fuel innovation is simply one facet in addressing the complex issue of global climate change. Part I addresses the science of global warming, identifying the immediate need to transition from an economy reliant on fossil fuels to one buoyed by the promise of new, zero-emission fuels. Part II provides background on how current notions of federalism shape environmental policy and the obstacles that have hindered comprehensive efforts to reduce GHG emissions in the United States. Part III chronicles the feverish debate over California’s LCFS and how a federal market-based plan to reduce GHG emissions is vital to the United States. Part IV proposes ways Congress can go about employing a low carbon fuel standard in a market-based approach to GHG reduction. Part IV presents two trains of thought on how Congress can craft policy that will stimulate innovation in alternative fuels while reducing overall GHG emissions.