Temporary Injunction Against CA Low-Carbon Fuel Standard

On Dec. 29, Judge Lawrence O’Neill of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California issued a ruling preventing the California Air Resources Board from enforcing the state’s low carbon fuels standard (LCFS) during pending litigation. The decision was one of several rulings made by the court regarding federal lawsuits challenging the program.
The U.S. ethanol industry had claimed California’s LCFS is unconstitutional, citing that the program violates the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution. Specifically, a lawsuit filed in December 2009 by representatives of the ethanol industry claimed that the LCFS violates the Commerce Clause—and is in effect unconstitutional—due to the fact that the program seeks to regulate farming and biofuel production practices in states other than California, as the cause forbids state laws that discriminate against out-of-state goods and those that regulate out-of-state conduct.
Responding to the decision, Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Bob Dinneen and Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis said in a joint statement that the LCFS discriminates against out-of-state corn-derived ethanol. It is our hope, said Buis and Dinneen, that California regulators will come back to the table to work on a thoughtful, fair, and ultimately achievable strategy for improving our environment by incenting the growth and evolution American renewable fuels.
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