Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Energy News



Ethanol producers file suit against California climate rules
Sacramento--Two ethanol industry trade groups filed a federal lawsuit this week that alleges California regulations to reduce the carbon content of fuels in that state are unconstitutional and should be struck down.The Renewable Fuels Association and Growth Energy say California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard collides with federal energy law and would harm the industry.

The state policy seeks a 10 percent decrease in the carbon content of motor fuels sold into California markets by 2020. But the ethanol trade groups call the rules at odds with a 2007 federal law that requires use of 36 billion gallons of renewable fuels in the nation’s fuel mix by 2022. The 2007 law created first-time greenhouse gas limits on renewable fuels under the federal standard. But, unlike the California policy, it exempted ethanol from plants in operation when the law passed.The lawsuit claims the LCFS “interferes with and frustrates” the federal energy law because it would effectively exclude the trade groups’ members from selling fuels into the California market.

“State regulations such as the LCFS cannot prohibit or limit the sale of ethanol products based on the level of GHG emissions purportedly attributed to them when Congress has specifically foreclosed limitations on the sale of the same ethanol products based on GHG emissions,” states the lawsuit filed in a federal district court in Fresno.Stanley Young, a spokesman for the California Air Resources Board, said the suit against the state rules has no merit. “It is a regulation that provides California consumers with cleaner, low-carbon fuels,” he said

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