Corn growers are pleased with the ruling last week by a Federal District Court judge in Fresno, California that the state’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) violates the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution and is therefore unconstitutional. The ruling is in response to a suit filed in December 2009 by the Renewable Fuels Association and Growth Energy asserting that the LCFS violates the Commerce Clause by seeking to regulate farming and ethanol production practices in other states.
“This ruling reaffirms our position that the state of California violated the U.S. Constitution when it created a low carbon fuel standard punitive to farmers and ethanol producers outside of the state’s border,” said National Corn Growers Association President Garry Niemeyer. “Corn farmers are good stewards and advocates for thoughtful, fair strategies that will improve our environment through the advancement of biofuels. We hope that this ruling will lead to an inclusive discussion where regulators join other stakeholders to find effective renewable energy solutions.”
The judge ruled that the LCFS discriminates against out-of-state corn-derived ethanol and impermissibly regulates extraterritorial conduct and that the California Air Resources Board (CARB) failed to establish that there are no alternative methods to advance its goals of reducing GHG emissions to combat global warming.