The federal district court judge who ruled California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) to be unconstitutional has denied a motion to continue implementation of the law.
On Monday, Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill denied the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) motion to stay the decision he issued on December 29, 2011 that had halted the enforcement of the LCFS regulation because that regulation is unconstitutional.
On Friday, January 20, 2012, CARB filed papers asking the Court to reverse its decision and allow the state to continue implementing the LCFS in 2012. Judge O’Neill ruled that CARB “improperly seeks to relitigate issues this Court resolved in its order granting the preliminary injunction and orders on the summary judgment motions.” He further noted that CARB sought not to preserve the “status quo” but rather to “allow enforcement that imposes higher restrictions than had been imposed previously” without citing any authority to show why the Court would have jurisdiction to grant that type of relief.
“Judge O’Neill’s decision demonstrates the strength of our claims against the LCFS,” said Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Bob Dinneen and Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis in a joint statement. “The California LCFS seeks to regulate conduct outside its borders and is blatantly discriminatory and unconstitutional. American ethanol advocates will continue to oppose CARB’s effort to reinstate this punitive policy that illegally seeks to dictate the production and transportion of ethanol and other fuels outside its border.”
CARB has appealed Judge O’Neill’s finding that the LCFS violates the Commerce Clause of the Constitution. That litigation is in the 9th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals.