Ethanol Groups Challenge California Fuel Standard

Cindy Zimmerman

The nation’s ethanol industry is challenging the constitutionality of the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS).

Renewable Fuels Association LogoThe Renewable Fuels Association and Growth Energy filed a complaint on Christmas Eve in the Federal District Court of Fresno charging that the measure violates both the Supremacy Clause and the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

Growth Energy“The LCFS erects new regulatory obstacles to ethanol, frustrates the federal Renewable Fuel Standard, and threatens the nationwide market for domestic ethanol,” says a joint statement issued by the two organizations. “Additionally, by closing California’s borders to corn ethanol from other states, the LCFS will change how corn is farmed and ethanol is produced all over the country. The Commerce Clause specifically forbids state laws that discriminate against out-of-state goods and that regulate out-of-state conduct. The LCFS imposes excessive burdens on the entire domestic ethanol industry while providing no benefit to Californians. In fact, in disadvantaging low-carbon, domestic ethanol, the LCFS denies the people of California a genuine opportunity to clean their air, create jobs, and strengthen their economic and national security.”

The LCFS was adopted by the California Air Resources Board last spring and is due to take effect early next year.

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