Monday night, U.S. District Judge O’Neill rejected a request to lift a stay on low carbon fuel standards (LCFS) in California.  Judge O’Neill stated that he would not reverse his original ruling that an LCFS in California is unconstitutional as it would violate the commerce clause. 

In response to the development, Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) Executive Vice President Michael Whatley stated:

“We commend Judge O’Neill for standing firm on his initial decision against this harmful and unlawful policy.  Not only is an LCFS unconstitutional, but it would also hurt the California economy, farmers, consumers and truckers by raising fuel prices sharply and burdening consumers. 

“As proposed, the LCFS favors oil from unfriendly regimes and blocks the use of oil from friendly nations like Canada.  And ironically, the policy will have the opposite of its intended effect by creating more greenhouse gases in the long run.”

The federal district court finding on December 29th found an LCFS in California to be unconstitutional.  Specifically the court found that “LCFS discriminates against out-of-state and foreign crude oil while giving an economic advantage to in-state crude oil.” It also found that “the LCFS discriminates against out-of-state corn ethanol and impermissibly controls extraterritorial conduct.” Because the state had failed “to establish that no alternative means exist to address their legitimate concerns of combating global warming,” the LCFS is invalid. The court stayed enforcement of the LCFS pending further judicial review. 

On Jan. 5, CARB appealed the ruling and followed up Friday with a filing to lift the stay on the potential program.  Last night, Judge O’Neill rejected that petition.

A copy of yesterday’s amended decision can be found here.

A copy of the court’s original decision can be found here.