Calif asks for stay of low-carbon fuel ruling

Associated Press  • Posted: Monday, February 13, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO — California officials are asking a federal judge to allow work to resume on implementation of the state’s first-in-the-nation mandate for low-carbon vehicle fuels.

The California Air Resources Board on Friday filed a request for a stay in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, asking the court to allow work to resume while it appeals a lower court decision to halt the program.

The board is appealing a December ruling by Fresno-based U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence O’Neill, which blocked implementation of a first-in-the-nation low-carbon fuel standard.

O’Neill wrote that the rule violates the U.S. Constitution’s commerce clause by discriminating against crude oil and biofuels producers located outside California.

The mandate requires all vehicles’ fuels, on average, to be 10 percent less carbon-intensive by 2020 than gasoline is now.