Arlington, Virginia – The American Trucking Associations has joined petroleum refiners and other fuel end users in a legal challenge to California’s recently-enacted low-carbon fuel standard (LCFS). The regulation, adopted by the California Air Resources Board, requires annual reductions in the carbon intensity of gasoline and diesel over the next ten years.
The groups said that the LCFS regulation falls directly upon fuel providers, including refiners, importers and fuel blenders, but will affect end users because of associated fuel price increases.
The legal challenge is largely based on the Commerce Clause, with assertions that moving low-carbon fuel to California and away from other states will significantly burden fuel providers and consumers without any net change in fuel’s carbon intensity on a global scale, resulting in no reduction and a likely increase in greenhouse gas emissions.
“The LCFS would essentially ban imports to California of fuels derived from unconventional sources such as oil sands from Canada, oil shale from the western U.S., or domestic coal supplies that can be converted into transportation fuels,” said Rich Moskowitz, president of the American Trucking Associations. “Discouraging these fuels will simply increase costs while failing to prevent their export to and consumption by other nations.”
The complaint also challenges the regulatory scheme as discriminating in favour of California-produced fuels by assigning them lower carbon-intensity ratings because of shorter transportation distances to users.