FRESNO, Calif. - A U.S.
District Court judge ruled last week that Californiaï¿½ï¿½s global warming law gives
preferential treatment to biofuels produced in the state, the Associated Press
reports. A coalition of groups, including the Consumer Energy Alliance and the
National Petrochemical & Refiners Association, had filed the lawsuit in
federal court in 2010 contesting the 2006 state regulations for low-carbon fuel
U.S. District Court Judge
Lawrence O'Neill wrote that the regulations showed prejudice against biofuel
and crude oil producers not in California, which went against the U.S.
Constitutionï¿½ï¿½s commerce clause. The fuel rule "discriminates against
out-of-state and foreign crude oil while giving an economic advantage to
in-state crude oil," the judge said in his decision.
Environmental Protection Agency Air Resources Board will ask the judge to issue
a stay on the ruling and will likely appeal to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of
Appeals, said Dave Clegern, spokesman. The mandate is "an evenhanded standard
that encourages the use of cleaner low carbon fuels by regulating
fuel-providers in California," said Clegern. It "does not discriminate against
any fuels on the basis of geography."
The court "decision ... struck down a misguided policy
that would have resulted in even higher fuel costs for Californian consumers
while increasing the cost of business throughout the state," said Michael
Whatley, executive vice president for Consumer Energy Alliance.