Temporary injunction on Calif. low carbon fuel standard lifted

By Erin Voegele | April 26, 2012

The temporary injunction against California’s low carbon fuel standard (LCFS) has been lifted. According to information released by the California Air Resources Board, the Ninth Circuit granted its motion for a stay on the injunction while it continues to consider CARB’s appeal of the lower court’s decision. The decision was handed down on April 23.

In late December, Judge Lawrence O’Neill of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California issued a ruling that prevented CARB from enforcing the LCFS during pending litigation. With that injunction now lifted, CARB noted that all outstanding LCFS reports are due April 30. The board elaborated that because the injunction was in effect when the 2011 fourth quarter reports were due, and it is allowing regulated parties that have not yet submitted those reports to submit them before the end of this month.

“We appreciate the Ninth Circuit court’s ruling allowing the LCFS to move forward pending a final ruling on the appeal,” said CARB in a statement posted to its website. “Yesterday’s decision allows the ARB to continue implementation and resume enforcement of this important program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, driving the investment and innovation that creates new jobs and provides the next generation of clean fuels to all Californians.”

The U.S. ethanol industry is one party that has opposed the LCFS. The industry in the past cited that the program violates the U.S. Constitution’s Commerce Clause. In December, Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Bob Dinneen and Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis said in a joint statement that LCFS discriminates against out-of-state corn-derived ethanol. In another joint statement released April 24, the two trade groups said, “The ethanol industry plaintiffs look forward to fully briefing the issues before the Court of Appeals on the expedited schedule that the Court has issued.”

The Consumer Energy Alliance has also spoken out against the LCFS. “We are disappointed that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has chosen to allow, pending resolution of the appeal, a costly and destructive program to continue while placing countless American jobs and consumers at risk,” said CEA Executive Vice President Michael Whatley. 


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