California’s low-carbon fuel standard will remain in effect, a state appeals court provisionally ruled in a lawsuit challenging the regulation by U.S. ethanol producer Poet LLC.
Poet, the second-largest U.S. maker of the corn-based fuel, argued that the standard, which requires transportation fuel-sellers in California to reduce the “carbon intensity” of their products by 10 percent by 2020, should be held invalid because regulators approved it before completing an environmental review.
“We’re looking for alternative remedies to throwing out the regulations completely,” Justice Rebecca Wiseman said today at the start of an hour-long hearing before the California Court of Appeal in Fresno.
Wiseman and two other judges on a panel hearing the case didn’t make a final ruling.
Poet’s lawsuit is one of two cases by out-of-state ethanol producers challenging the low-carbon fuel rule, which assigns a higher carbon intensity score to ethanol produced outside California. While the fuel is chemically and physically identical to ethanol produced in the state, more emissions are produced by corn farming, transportation and processing elsewhere, California officials say.
The Fresno case is Poet LLC v. California Air Resources Board, F064045, California Court of Appeal, Fifth Appellate District (Fresno).
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