Mary Nichols, Call Your Office: Court Blocks Your Wacko Low Carbon Fuel Standard

Russ Steele

Hat Tip to a regular reader for posting this breaking news in a comment.  Here is the Wall Street Journal Article:

California Low-Carbon Fuel Rules Halted

In a victory for refiners and ethanol producers, a federal judge halted enforcement of California’s low-carbon fuel rules Thursday, saying they discriminated against crude oil and ethanol imported 

The decision puts on hold a major portion of California’s effort to cut greenhouse-gas emissions, at a time when the most-populous state’s stance has taken on extra importance nationwide because of a stalemate in Washington over greenhouse-gas legislation.

The judge’s move means that refiners and ethanol producers, which previously could have been faced with having to buy credits when importing oil and ethanol into California to comply with the rules, will now be freed of those obligations.

Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill, of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California in Fresno, rejected the state’s regulations, finding that California’s effort to control fuel imports infringed on Congress’s constitutional authority over interstate commerce.

Refiners and ethanol producers filed a lawsuit over the issue two years ago, arguing the rules penalize suppliers that use crude oil or ethanol from outside the state and would lead to higher costs for consumers.

Judge O’Neill hasn’t issued a final decision on the case, but on Thursday he barred California from enforcing the rules while the lawsuit continues.

In setting out the rules, the California Air Resources Board calculated a “carbon intensity” score for different types of fuel, favoring biofuels over carbon-heavy crude.

The rules also assign imported fuels a higher “carbon intensity” score, meaning suppliers that use them could be forced to buy credits to comply with the rules. California said those parts of the rule were justified because suppliers burn fuel and emit carbon when they transport fuels into the state.

Refiners applauded the decision to halt the regulations.  You can read the rest of the WSJ article HERE.


About Russ Steele
Freelance writer and climate change blogger. Russ spent twenty years in the Air Force as a navigator specializing in electronics warfare and digital systems. After his service he was employed for sixteen years as concept developer for TRW, an aerospace and automotive company, and then was CEO of a non-profit Internet provider for 18 months. Russ's articles have appeared in Comstock's Business, Capitol Journal, Trailer Life, Monitoring Times, and Idaho Magazine.

3 Responses to Mary Nichols, Call Your Office: Court Blocks Your Wacko Low Carbon Fuel Standard

  1. Bob W says:

    Law is like mathematics in some respects. In order for a law to be considered valid one proof it should be able to pass is that if the justification for it applies to one industry’s impact then it must apply to the same impact other industries generate in order to be considered just, so as not to impose an arbitrary disproportionate burden on one industry over another.

    If it is appropriate to force suppliers of fuel to buy credits based on the carbon generated by the transportation of their product from outside the State then the same would rapidly follow with respect to all our products including food.

    Please, all of you that think CARB hadn’t considered that, chime in and tell us how we are over-reacting.

  2. D. King says:

    Wow, since the fuel tax is now linked to the price of fuel and not fixed, they must have been twiddling their fingers and licking their chops at the thought of all the money they were going to pilfer from the poor and middle classes. It’s good to see that there are a few honest people left!

  3. In Steven Speilberg’s version of The War of the Worlds, the Martians blasted people into dust with a ray gun. The poof of the person was their “carbon footprint” I guess. Mary and Jerry would tax that? LOL!

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