A Good Day for All Families: California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard Moves Forward

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals blocked an injunction today against California's low carbon fuel standard (LCFS). The original injunction was issued by the trial court (U.S. District Court, Fresno) in late 2011. As David Pettit, our senior attorney stated here:

Rather than invest to improve their products by providing cleaner transportation fuels and better production practices, Big Oil and Big Ethanol went to court...Today, the trial court's order was put on ice by the appellate court while the appeal is going on.

 The sad truth is for every dollar spent by oil the oil industry to produce more oil, they spend only a fraction of a penny on alternative clean fuel technologies.[1]. The LCFS fills a critical gap by ensuring oil companies are actually investing significantly in alternative fuels. That’s why California and other states, such as New York, Massachusetts, and Oregon are moving forward with similar clean fuels standards.

Especially at a time when families are facing nearly $4 a gallon at the pump, these standards will redouble efforts to move to lower cost, alternative fuels such as clean electricity, advanced biofuels, and hydrogen. California families and businesses have spent over $60 billion last year on gasoline and diesel, with much of this being sent outside of the state and overseas. This is a good day for all families who want to be less dependent on oil, reduce our carbon pollution, and transition to cleaner, alternative fuels.

It’s also a good day for companies across the nation standing ready to supply cleaner, alternative fuels, vehicles, and infrastructure. A survey, conducted by Environmental Entrepreneurs, found 240 advanced biofuel companies are already located in the U.S. and Canada. These standards are one of the many reasons California leads the nation in attracting clean tech venture capital investments, companies, and patent filings that will result in more jobs. Already, an array of unlikely bedfellows support the standards, including alternative fuel suppliers, emerging clean tech businesses, auto manufacturers, and utility companies together with veterans, labor, health, and environmental organizations.

Ultimately, the motion to stay the injunction allows California to continue down the road to cleaner, alternative fuels. We’re confident that we’ll win on the merits as the case proceeds. It’s high time for oil companies and Midwest corn ethanol producers to stop fighting against the standards and to start investing more – much more -- in clean fuels innovation.

About the Authors

Simon Mui

Director, California Vehicles and Fuels, Energy & Transportation program

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