Ninth Circuit Upholds California Emissions Law

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Environmentalists are celebrating a court ruling today upholding California’s low emission fuel standards. But 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 Environmental Defense Fund, an environmental organization. He said the ruling will provide a lot of incentive for fuel producers to go green.

“This, by far, (is) a very signal to the development of fuels,” he said. “Not just to California, but to the investment in fuels across the nation.”

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

“Then California has the ability to regulate virtually how any product is manufactured,” he said, “be it shoes, be it computers, be it cars.”

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

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