Injunction on California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard Lifted Pending Appeal
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has lifted an injunction that prevented the California Air Resources Board (CARB) from enforcement of the state’s low carbon fuel standard (LCFS), pending appeal of a lower court decision enjoining the LCFS. In December 2011, a federal district court found the LCFS in violation of the dormant commerce clause, as discriminating against corn-derived ethanol from out-of-state and favoring California corn-derived ethanol. CARB appealed the decision to the Ninth Circuit earlier this year. The LCFS requires a 10% reduction in the carbon intensity of motor fuels sold in California by 2020. In its ruling yesterday, the Ninth Circuit also granted a request for expedited briefing in the consolidated cases appealing the LCFS decision. Plaintiffs’ opening brief in Rocky Mountain Farmers Union et al. v. Goldstene et al. (case no. 12-15131) will be filed by May 25, 2012, with answering briefs due a month later and an optional reply brief to be filed no later than 14 days thereafter. For additional information on the LCFS and the district court decision, see our earlier Energy Law Alert.