Court of Appeals Hears Arguments Against California Low Carbon Fuel Standard

A three-justice panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently heard oral arguments about the constitutionality of California’s “Low Carbon Fuel Standard,” a piece of the state’s landmark global warming law, AB 32.

Out-of-state refiners and ethanol companies are challenging the law, implemented by the California Air Resources Board (CARB), arguing it violates the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution by imposing limits on interstate commerce. The plaintiffs argue that requiring fuel producers to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions allows the state to discriminate against out-of-state businesses.

CARB said the standard will cut California’s dependence on petroleum by 20 percent, and will account for one-tenth of the state’s goal to cut GHG emissions by 2020.

It is not yet known when the Court of Appeals might issue a ruling in the case.


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