Carbon bill hits snag

Judge rules part of AB 32 violates Commerce Clause

Part of California’s landmark Assembly Bill 32 experienced a setback when Judge Lawrence O’Neill of the U.S. District Court in Fresno ruled the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) violates the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

The LCFS aims for a 10 percent reduction of the carbon content of motor fuels sold in the state by 2020, a goal O’Neill concluded would intrude on economic interests outside the state, according to the NY Times. AB 32, or the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, was authored with intent to reduce the state’s total greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. The California Air Resources Board estimated the LCFS would account for about 10 percent of the emission-reduction target.

CARB said it would appeal O’Neill’s preliminary injunction, which is based on three lawsuits by refiners, truckers and out-of-state ethanol producers.