U.S. Supreme Court Does Not Take Up Constitutionality of California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard

The Supreme Court denied a petition for review in Rocky Mountain Farmers Union v. Corey, letting stand the Ninth Circuit’s holding that the state’s low carbon fuel standard (LCFS) is constitutional on its face. RMM previously wrote about the Ninth Circuit decision here. The issue before the court was whether the LCFS discriminates against out-of-state businesses, thereby violating the dormant commerce clause. The court held that the LCFS is neither facially discriminatory nor discriminatory in purpose or effect with respect to the regulation’s crude oil provisions.

On remand, the district court will be tasked with determining whether the regulation’s ethanol provisions place burdens on interstate commerce that outweigh the benefits, rendering the LCFS invalid, and also whether the Clean Air Act preempts the LCFS program.