12/29/2011 3 Comments
Hat Tip to a regular reader for posting this breaking news in a comment. Here is the Wall Street Journal Article:
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.