Even though there’s some uncertainty around federal environmental policies, clean air regulations are spreading throughout the U.S., and they affect convenience stores more than you might think.
You’ve probably heard of California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS). It encourages the production and use of cleaner fuels, therefore reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the state.
Oregon has a similar law, and several other states are debating them. As states, counties, municipalities and even individual fleets and businesses explore sustainability goals and standards of their own, it’s time for c-stores to get on board — or risk missing out on a large chunk of business.
Meeting renewable fuel demand
Fleet owners and operators are increasingly interested in ways to reduce their carbon footprint. C-stores can help meet this demand by offering renewable fuels for passenger vehicles and fleet customers alike.
One of the easiest renewable fuels to offer is biodiesel. Biodiesel blends — which are typically up to 20 percent biodiesel and 80 percent petroleum diesel — require little to no infrastructure updates on your end. The same is true for your customers — they can fill up their diesel vehicles and hit the road.
As you know by now, biodiesel reduces emissions compared with petroleum diesel. But the numbers hold up against other “buzzword” fuels too. Here’s how much higher various fuels’ GHG emissions are compared to REG B1001 (100 percent biodiesel):
- 580% higher with petroleum diesel
- 435% higher with compressed natural gas
- 550% higher with an electric vehicle with coal-derived electricity
- 195% higher with an electric vehicle with natural gas-derived electricity
Another exciting and emerging fuel option is to blend renewable diesel and biodiesel; Renewable Energy Group calls this REG Ultra Clean™ Diesel. Blending biodiesel and renewable diesel with each other — instead of only with petroleum diesel — results in a product that features the best characteristics of both of these low-carbon fuels: lower emissions of every kind; excellent Cetane, lubricity and Freezing Point; the ability to expand your supply; and easy blending, storing and handling.
Right now, these renewable diesel-biodiesel blends are hard to find outside the West Coast due to strong demand and favorable economics, but it’s a product you should be aware of no matter where you have locations because its use is likely to spread.
Get up to speed
Don’t assume the status quo will continue and clean air regulations won’t impact your business. The time to adapt to a clean fuel future is now because many of your customers are already heading that direction.
1 REG calculations based on REG biodiesel produced from used cooking oil and based on the CA-GREET model.