| June 30
June 30 The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday
declined to hear a challenge to California's landmark low-carbon
fuel standard, in a blow to out-of-state ethanol and gasoline
producers that say the rule unfairly discriminates against their
A coalition of fuel makers, led by the Rocky Mountain
Farmers Union, a grower of corn and soybeans for ethanol in
western states, brought a lawsuit to overturn a 2009 rule
mandating cuts in carbon emissions.
The California regulation calculates emissions throughout
the life cycle of a fuel by including pollution from production
as well as ultimate use.
Out-of-state fuel producers claim the standard penalizes
them by calculating long transportation distances as part of the
overall carbon footprint of their fuels.
They argued the measure violates the U.S. Constitution by
interfering with interstate commerce but lost at the 9th U.S.
Circuit Court of Appeals.
The Supreme Court's denial means the standard remains in
place. The case will now be sent back to a lower court.
"Today's Supreme Court decision is a victory for everyone
committed to taking meaningful action to tackle climate change,"
Mary Nichols, chairman of the California Air Resources Board,
said in an emailed statement.
"It sends a clear message that the time for delay is over
and the time to clean up and diversify transportation fuels is
now," she said.
Richard Moskowitz, general counsel for American Fuel &
Petrochemical Manufacturers, called the decision not to review
the case disappointing.
"California's efforts to dictate how fuel is produced
outside of its borders ignores constitutional safeguards that
have long protected against one state controlling the conduct of
private parties," he said in a statement.
He said the organization's members had yet to decide their
next steps for the litigation.
California says the standard, created by an executive order
of former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, is successfully
slashing greenhouse gases to battle climate change.
The Environmental Defense Fund and the American Lung
Association say the measure also reduces heart and lung
diseases, health problems linked to poor air quality.
"This is another case of Big Oil and Big Ethanol trying to
avoid cleaning up their act," attorney David Pettit from the
Natural Resources Defense Council said in an emailed release.
Under California's regulation, fuel blenders and
distributors must reduce the "carbon intensity" of their
products by up to 10 percent over the next decade or risk being
shut out of the state's lucrative market.
While California's program is the first of its kind in the
country, other states such as Washington and Oregon have
considered pursuing similar policies.
The case is Rocky Mountain Farmers Union v. Richard W.
Corey, U.S. Supreme Court, No. 13-1148.
(Additional reporting by Rory Carroll in San Francisco; Editing
by Howard Goller and Steve Orlofsky)