Court upholds California LCFS

By Staff | October 11, 2013

The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that California’s low carbon fuel standard (LCFS) program is constitutional, overturning a prior ruling that it violates interstate commerce laws. A panel of three judges made the ruling in September, vacating a preliminary injunction made by the district court. 

Rulings issued by the district court in December 2011 found that the LCFS facially discriminated against out-of-state ethanol, impermissibly engaged in the extraterritorial regulation of ethanol production, and discriminated against out-of-state crude oil, and was not saved by California’s preemption waiver in the Clean Air Act. However, the opinion published by the appeals court has reversed that finding. One judge in the panel dissented to a portion of the ruling stating that the state has failed to demonstrate that a nondiscriminatory version of the regulation would be unable to achieve its legitimate local interest of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.  

Growth Energy and the Renewable Fuels Association are among the plaintiffs cited in court documents. In a joint statement, the RFA and Growth Energy said they are evaluating both the decision and the dissent and are contemplating all legal actions.