US appeals court won’t allow rehearing of California LCFS lawsuit

A federal appeals court in California refused to accept a petition to rehear a challenge to the state’s low-carbon fuel standard (LCFS), which three of the court’s judges dismissed last year. The ruling could be appealed to the US Supreme Court.

A majority of the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals said it would not let the case, in which ethanol producers and the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers argued the requirements discriminate against out-of-state ethanol producers, be argued before a larger panel of judges.

“Although the LCFS clearly discriminates against fuels produced in other states and violates the Commerce Clause of the US Constitution, the 9th Circuit chose to deny our petition and uphold this biased law,” AFPM General Counsel Richard Moskowitz said in response to the court’s Jan. 22 denial of rehearing.

“The broad reach and intended scope of the California LCFS mean that the 9th Circuit’s decision will have adverse consequences throughout the nation’s fuel supply chain far beyond California’s borders, and ultimately a negative impact on consumers,” he continued.

“AFPM agrees with the seven dissenting judges who would have granted further review because the original decision ‘contravenes black letter law’ and is ‘inconsistent with Supreme Court precedent,’” Moskowitz said. The trade association will evaluate options regarding further court proceedings in coming weeks, he added.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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