Fresno, CA – A judge in Federal District Court in Fresno, California, today sided with America’s ethanol industry in ruling that the State of California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) is unconstitutional. Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill agreed with the arguments that the LCFS is in violation of the Commerce Clause the U.S. Constitution.
In a joint statement, RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen and Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis said: “The state of California overreached in creating its low carbon fuel standard by making it unconstitutionally punitive for farmers and ethanol producers outside of the state’s border. With this ruling, it is our hope that the California regulators will come back to the table to work on a thoughtful, fair, and ultimately achievable strategy for improving our environment by incenting the growth and evolution of American renewable fuels.”
The groups filed their suit on December 24, 2009 and asserted that the California LCFS violates the Commerce Clause by seeking to regulate farming and ethanol production practices in other states. The Commerce Clause specifically forbids state laws that discriminate against out-of-state goods and that regulate out-of-state conduct. With its original filing, the groups noted, “The LCFS imposes excessive burdens on the entire domestic ethanol industry while providing no benefit to Californians. In fact, in disadvantaging low-carbon, domestic ethanol, the LCFS denies the people of California a genuine opportunity to clean their air, create jobs, and strengthen their economic and national security. One state cannot dictate policy for all the others, yet that is precisely what California has aimed to do through a poorly conceived and, frankly, unconstitutional LCFS.”
On this claim the Court found that the LCFS discriminates against out-of-state corn-derived ethanol and impermissibly regulates extraterritorial conduct. As a result, the Court issued an injunction. Judge O’Neill also ruled that CARB failed to establish that there are no alternative methods to advance its goals of reducing GHG emissions to combat global warming.
The ruling allows CARB to appeal Judge O’Neill’s decision immediately to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. RFA and Growth Energy will defend the Judge’s decision that the LCFS is unconstitutional in any appeal that may be filed by CARB.
Growth Energy member Eamonn Byrne of Lakeview Energy recently participated in our May Capitol Hill fly-in, where he met one-on-one with lawmakers and their staff to share the challenges the biofuels industry is facing. In an interview with Brownfield Ag News, Byrne shared that EPA’s radical expansion of small refinery exemptions was the main topic […]
The following article was posted on Brownfield Ag News’ website: June 1st is quickly approaching, and ethanol industry officials are urging the EPA to approve year-round sales of E15 in time for the summer driving season. Chris Bliley, vice president of regulatory affairs with Growth Energy, says they are optimistic the EPA will keep its promise to […]
Enjoying the spring weather? 🌤 Go outside and enjoy the fresh air – and remember that by fueling up with #E15, you’re helping keep the air clean for everyone. https://t.co/xhg659aMf0
Ethanol industry leaders continue to express concern about RFS small refinery waivers granted to oil companies. @brownfield @GrowthEnergy https://t.co/BATCFukxIo
Growth Energy member Eamonn Byrne of Lakeview Energy joined our May fly-in & told @brownfield that the rapid expansion of small refinery exemptions was the main topic of conversation with lawmakers & staff. Listen to & read Byrne's interview here: brownfieldagnews.com/news/small-ref…