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AFPM Challenges Oregon's Low Carbon Fuel Standard

WASHINGTON, March 23, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), the American Trucking Associations, and the Consumer Energy Alliance today filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court in Oregon challenging the constitutionality of Oregon's Low Carbon Fuel Standard (Oregon LCFS). The parties filed the complaint on the grounds that the implementation and enforcement of the Oregon LCFS violates the United States Constitution by discriminating against transportation fuels produced outside the state, with the intended purpose of promoting and benefiting the development of in-state fuel production and discouraging the use of fuels from outside of Oregon. The Oregon LCFS also is unconstitutional because it attempts to regulate conduct occurring outside the state of Oregon.

"The Oregon low carbon fuel standard will harm consumers while providing no measurable environmental benefit. Greenhouse gas emissions have the same impact regardless of where they are emitted and forcing the consumption of low carbon fuels in Oregon – or in any state – will not reduce global carbon emissions due to fuel shuffling," said AFPM General Counsel Rich Moskowitz.

"This program is clearly unconstitutional because it discriminates against out-of-state gasoline, diesel and ethanol providers in order to promote the development of an in-state biofuels program." Moskowitz added.

Implementation of the Oregon LCFS also would violate the Constitution's Supremacy Clause, since the regulation of the carbon and renewable fuel content of transportation fuel is preempted by the federal Clean Air Act and other federal laws.

Background:

In 2009, the Oregon Legislature authorized DEQ to adopt a low carbon fuel standard that would seek to reduce the average lifecycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of transportation fuels by 10 percent over a 10-year period. In 2012, Oregon changed the name of its program from Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) to Clean Fuels Program. This name change is somewhat misleading as increased use of some of the fuels that would qualify under the Oregon program actually would increase the emissions of some criteria pollutants.

DEQ has implemented Phase 1 of the Oregon Program by requiring importers or producers of gasoline, diesel, ethanol, biodiesel or any other liquid transportation fuel in Oregon to report and register with DEQ. Phase 2 of the Oregon Program is the subject of DEQ's newly adopted rule, which requires GHG reductions for transportation fuels by imposing annual average carbon intensity requirements for fuels sold in Oregon beginning in 2016.

On Nov. 20, 2014 AFPM submitted comments in response to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality's (DEQ) Clean Fuels Program Phase 2 Rulemaking and the proposed rule changes to the Oregon Clean Fuels Program.

CONTACT: media@afpm.org

Source: American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers