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Ethanol Groups Ask SCOTUS to Nix Calif. Low Carbon Fuel Rule

March 21, 2014

Two groups representing the ethanol industry have petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court in hopes of getting California's low carbon fuel standard overturned following a January defeat at the circuit court level.

The Renewable Fuels Association and Growth Energy filed the petition on March 20 as a response to a Jan. 22 ruling by the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upholding California's law and refusing to revisit a lower-court ruling that upheld it.

The state's low carbon fuel standard (LCFS) required reduction in carbon emissions for duels to be measured throughout the lifecycle. Out-of-state fuel producers have argued that it discriminates against their products and favors California-produced fuels that aren't transported as far. The California Air Resources Board oversees the rule.

Opposition to the LCFS has coalesced among corn ethanol as well as oil producers. Opponents were bolstered by a federal judge who agreed with them in 2011, but was later overturned.

On March 20, the ethanol boosters again lashed out at the rule.

"California, through adoption of the LCFS, has violated the most basic, structural features of interstate federalism," the groups said in a statement posted by Biomass Magazine. "LCFS not only discriminates against out-of-state commerce, but it seeks to regulate conduct in other States in direct contravention of our constitutional structure and at the direct expense of Midwestern farmers and ethanol producers."

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