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Ninth Circuit Upholds California Emissions Law

Sep 18, 2013

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Credit Capital Public Radio

Environmentalists are celebrating a court ruling Wednesday upholding California’s low emission fuel standards. But, as Katie Orr reports from Sacramento, fuel manufactures say the law is unfair. 

California consumes nearly 20 billion gallons of gas and diesel every year, the most in the country. Because the market is so big, state regulations have a far reaching impact.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard. The law requires fuel producers to reduce the carbon emissions of their fuel 10 percent by 2020 and rates companies based on how they produce that fuel.  

Tim O’Connor is with the California Defense Fund, an environmental organization. He says the ruling will provide a lot of incentive for fuel producers to go green.

“This, by far, has a very signal to the development of fuels, not just to California, but to the investment in fuels across the nation," says O'Connor.

But producers maintain the law discriminates against out of state companies. Attorney Rich Moskowitz represents The American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers. He says California is too big a market to ignore. And he says the state will have a lot of power if this ruling stands.

“Well then California has the ability to regulate virtually how any product is manufactured, be it shoes, be it computers, be it cars," says Moskowitz.

Moskowitz says his clients and others involved in the case are still deciding what their next step will be.