Court Rules in Favor of California Fuel Standard

Requires energy makers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

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The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld California’s “Low Carbon Fuel Standard,” a key piece of legislation  in the state’s global warming laws.

The 2-1 victory makes California the first state to require fuel makers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through measuring a “carbon intensity score.” Fineries and ethanol companies argued that the score, which calculates a fuel’s entire life cycle including the transportation used to import it, imposed limits on commerce.

The ruling is considered a victory for environmentalists and state regulators, as a part of a greater campaign to reduce the state’s dependence on petroleum by 20 percent by 2020 and force the oil industry to embrace greener technology and cleaner fuels like biofuel, hydrogen and natural gas.

Fuel makers contend that the policy discriminates against out-of-state imports by focusing on the “carbon intensity” measurement.