Ethanol Supporters Respond to Press Questions: Let Court Hear the Case for Clean Fuel

FRESNO, Calif. – A joint brief filed today by Growth Energy and the Renewable Fuels Association asked the U.S. District Court to hear their claims against the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard (“LCFS”), a regulation that will block Midwest ethanol from reaching the California transportation fuels market.

The brief asked U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill to deny the state’s bid to throw out the joint lawsuit by Growth Energy and RFA. Other plaintiffs in the litigation include Penny Newman Grain Inc., the Fresno County Farm Bureau, Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, and other agriculture groups.

In a joint statement, Growth Energy and RFA said:

”As designed and implemented, the LCFS denies Midwest ethanol producers access to California’s fuels market while dictating business practices for ethanol producers and farmers outside the state’s borders–clear violations of the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution. California’s poorly-conceived regulation discriminates by closing the state to grain ethanol produced in the Midwest, and it ultimately frustrates the will of Congress reflected in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. If we are to have a low-carbon fuel standard, it must be based on sound science, and it must be Constitutional.”

At issue is the lawsuit filed in federal court in December by Growth Energy and RFA. The litigation argues that, by adopting a regulation that discriminates against U.S. ethanol producers outside of California, the state’s Air Resources Board violates the Commerce Clause, therefore making the regulation unconstitutional. Further, California cannot willfully deny or obstruct the intent of the federal 2007 Energy Act, which mandates greater production and consumption of biofuels. Rather, California must give way to Congressional policy, as it is the supreme law of the land.

Additionally, the ethanol industry has repeatedly challenged the underlying scientific justification for the LCFS. Most recently, a study from Purdue University found that CARB overestimated the indirect land use change penalty the LCFS imposes on biofuels by a factor of two. Ethanol producers have urged CARB to adopt those new Purdue findings, particularly in light of CARB’s stated commitment to use the best available science.

“At its core, the LCFS’s reliance on flawed concepts only serves to deny the people of California access to the only commercially viable, low-carbon alternative to gasoline made in the United States: grain ethanol,” the groups said. “We fundamentally oppose the use of the indirect land use change penalty applied only to biofuels. However, if CARB insists on this discriminatory penalty, it must commit to and rely upon the most up-to-date and verifiable science available.”


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About Growth Energy
Growth Energy is a group committed to the promise of agriculture and growing America’s economy through cleaner, greener energy. Growth Energy members recognize America needs a new ethanol approach. Through smart policy reform and a proactive grassroots campaign, Growth energy promotes reducing greenhouse gas emissions, expanding the use of ethanol in gasoline, decreasing our dependence on foreign oil, and creating American jobs at home. More information can be found at