ARB Goes to Bat in Defense of California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (October 16, 2012) – Today, during oral arguments in a lawsuit challenging California’s low carbon fuel standard, attorneys for the California Air Resources Board and a coalition of environmental groups asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco to reverse a December 2011 Court ruling that found the law violates the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution by discriminating against out-of-state fuel producers and regulating activities occurring wholly outside California.

Following is a statement from David Pettit, senior attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council:

“This is a significant milestone in California’s long history of pioneering clean energy and pollution reduction solutions to decide whether we remain dependent on a dirty, fossil-fuel industry that leaves consumers no choice other than to pay soaring gas prices at the pump. The low carbon fuel standard will bring new, cleaner fuel sources to California, increase consumer choice, and reduce the risk of more consumer pain from the next gas price shock.” 

“California’s oil saving measures, including the low carbon fuel standard and cleaner and more efficient cars, are expected to save California consumers and businesses $50 billion over the next decade in fuel costs. That’s nearly $1,000 annually per household in savings due to forward looking measures that provide more fuel choices and smarter, cleaner transportation options.”

Following is a blog about California’s low carbon fuel standard from Simon Mui, senior scientist in NRDC’s Energy and Transportation Program: 

Oil Industry Attacks California's Oil Saving Measures Just When Consumers Need Them Most

California consumers were treated to an early Halloween scare this month when retail gasoline prices surged as high as $5 per gallon. This latest spike was largely due to unplanned shutdowns of the ExxonMobil refinery in Torrance, an August explosion at the Chevron refinery in Richmond, and planned maintenance shut-downs by other refineries [see here and here].  While investigations into the causes of the Chevron refinery safety problems remain ongoing, officials have called on the Federal Trade Commission to look into whether price manipulation and deceptive practices within the industry had a hand in the rapid uptick in prices paid at the pump [see here and here].

But in a cynical twist, the oil industry is now trying to divert attention away from the real causes of the gas price spikes – our continued petroleum dependence that leaves us beholden to any supply disruption like the one we just experienced. Instead, the oil industry, represented by the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) together with a Chevron funded organization, Fueling California, are now attacking the state’s key policy to reduce oil dependency, cut carbon emissions, and provide consumers more fuel choices.  Read more: