California's Low Carbon Fuel Rule Rejected By Federal Judge As Unconstitutional

california traffic photoThomas Crenshaw/CC BY-SA 2.0

Wonder if states-rightists and environmentalists will find common cause with this one... NY Times reports: A federal judge has blocked California's low carbon fuel requirement on the grounds that it unconstitutionally interferes with interstate commerce.

The California Air Resources Board rule incorporates a full lifecycle analysis of the carbon content of fuel, which would certainly and intentionally handicap fuels produced in energy and carbon intensive ways such as tar sands, oil shale, and some biofuels (first generation corn ethanol and biodiesel produced from palm oil for example).

From an environmental perspective, leaving aside the individual calculations, it's the right way to go about determining the full greenhouse gas impact of a fuel in that just counting the emissions produced when burning the fuel in a vehicle often ignores the bigger picture.

The rule, the rejection of which is perhaps obviously being appealed, is responsible for about 10% of California's hoped-for greenhouse gas emission reductions.

Tags: Biofuels | California | Carbon Emissions | Oil | Tar Sands


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