Fresno, California – A coalition of ethanol producers has challenged California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS), which is intended to achieve a ten per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles by 2020.
The Renewable Fuels Association and Growth Energy filed a complaint in Federal District Court in Fresno. The LCFS calculates emissions through the fuel’s full life cycle; under the standard, corn-based ethanol receives a poor emissions score because of measurements based on corn farming as a food supply.
In a statement, the groups said, “If the United States is going to have a low carbon fuel standard, it must be based on sound science and it must be consistent with the U.S. Constitution. … The LCFS contradicts the sound judgement of Congress when it passed the 2007 Energy Independence Security Act and singled out the importance of domestic ethanol for our nation’s environment, energy security, and economy. The LCFS erects new regulatory obstacles to ethanol, frustrates the federal Renewable Fuel Standard, and threatens the nationwide market for domestic ethanol. Because congressional policy cannot coexist with California’s regulation, the latter must give way to the former, the supreme law of the land.
“Additionally, by closing California’s borders to corn ethanol from other states, the LCFS will change how corn is farmed and ethanol is produced all over the country. The Commerce Clause specifically forbids state laws that discriminate against out-of-state goods and that regulate out-of-state conduct. The LCFS imposes excessive burdens on the entire domestic ethanol industry while providing no benefit to Californians. In fact, in disadvantaging low-carbon, domestic ethanol, the LCFS denies the people of California a genuine opportunity to clean their air, create jobs, and strengthen their economic and national security. One state cannot dictate policy for all the others, yet that is precisely what California has aimed to do through a poorly conceived and frankly, unconstitutional LCFS.”