Important Victory for California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard
April 23, 2012
On April 23, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals lifted an injunction issued by the District Court that put a halt on California's implementation and enforcement of its Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS).
The State of California along with Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council, Environmental Defense Fund, Coalition for a Livable Future, and others had appealed the District Court decision concluding that the LCFS was unconstitutional, and requested that the the District Court's injunction be reversed during the pendency of the appeal.
This decision means that California can proceed with the execution and enforcement of the standard while the litigation moves through the courts. Companies that have already entered into contracts to buy and sell carbon credits under the rules can proceed with their contracts, and greenhouse gases (GHG) that would have been emitted had the rules' implementation been further delayed will now be avoided. This and future rulings in this case are crucial to the development of similar low carbon fuel initiatives by other states around the country.
The LCFS is a regulation adopted by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) that applies to transportation fuels that are sold and consumed in California. The standard aims to reduce GHG emissions by reducing the fuel-cycle, carbon intensity of transportation fuels used in California. The LCFS reduces emissions not only by encouraging the use of alternatives to petroleum-based transportation fuels, but also by estimating - and reducing - all GHG emissions caused by the use of ethanol, including from the extraction, refining, and transportation of the fuel.
See other "Fighting Dirty Oil and Promoting Green Transportation" cases.