Abstract The transportation sector accounts for over 20 percent of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Colorado which without intervention will grow to over 30 million metric tons (MMT) of GHG emissions per year. This study seeks to develop a specific characterization of the Colorado fuel and transportation system using a customized life cycle assessment (LCA) model. The model (CO-GT) was developed as an analytical tool to define Colorado’s 2020 baseline life cycle GHG emissions for the transportation sector, and to examine Colorado-specific pathways for GHG reductions through fuel types and volumes changes that might be associated with a state clean fuel standard (CFS). By developing a LCA of transportation fuels that is specific to the state of Colorado’s geography, fleet makeup, policies, energy sector and more, these tools can evaluate various proposals for the transition towards a more sustainable state transportation system. The results of this study include a quantification of the Colorado-specific roles of clean fuels, electricity, extant policies, and fleet transition in projections of the state’s 2030 transportation sector GHG emissions. Relative to a 2020 baseline, electrification of the vehicle fleet is found to reduce state-wide lifecycle GHG emissions by 7.7 MMT CO2e by 2030, and a model CFS policy able to achieve similar reductions in the carbon intensity of clean fuels as was achieved by California in the first 10 years of its CFS policies is found to only reduce state-wide lifecycle GHG emissions by 0.2 MMT CO2e by 2030. These results illustrate the insensitivity of Colorado’s transportation fleet GHG emissions reductions to the presence of CFS policies, as proposed to date.

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