Video: Federal Judge Blocks California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard

by William Yeatman on January 5, 2012

in Blog

Last week in California, a federal district court invalidated the state’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard, a requirement that upstream producers of transportation fuel (i.e., refineries and distributors) reduce the carbon intensity of gasoline sold in the state. Former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger imposed the LCFS in 2007, by executive order. The regulation accounts for 10% of greenhouse gas emissions reductions California is relying on to achieve the climate change goals of the state’s 2006 Global Warming Solutions Act, which Schwarzenegger championed.

Judge Lawrence O’Neill determined that the LCFS violated the Constitution’s Commerce Clause, because it effectively regulated interstate commerce to the detriment of some states. The plaintiffs were farmers and ethanol groups, who stood to lose market-share to Brazilian ethanol producers due to the fact that Brazil’s sugar-cane ethanol is less carbon intensive than American corn ethanol. Judge O’Neil allowed for the State to immediately appeal to the 9th federal Circuit Court of Appeals.

A day after the court’s decision, my colleague Myron Ebell was invited on Fox Business’s Cavuto show to discuss the issue. Video of his appearance is below.

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