Court Backs California's Right to Require Low-Carbon Fuel

A federal appeals court affirmed California's right to impose low carbon fuel standards aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, rejecting an industry argument that the regulations penalized out-of-state fuel producers.
September 19, 2013
 

A federal appeals court affirmed California's right to impose low carbon fuel standards aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, rejecting an industry argument that the regulations penalized out-of-state fuel producers.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2 to 1 Wednesday to reverse a lower-court ruling from 2011 that temporarily halted California's ability to enforce rules in AB 32, the state's landmark global warming law.

The decision allows the California Air Resources Board to begin implementing the law and restores the state's ability to punish fuel wholesalers and refineries that sell gasoline or biofuels with carbon footprints that exceed California's guidelines.

Air Resources Board spokesman Dave Clegern called the decision "a very good step for Californians and the fight against climate change."

In the first year of the program, wholesalers were to reduce the carbon footprint of their products 0.25%.

The regulations require producers, refiners and importers of gasoline and diesel to reduce the carbon footprint of their fuel by 10% over the next decade as part of California's goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.

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