By JASON DEAREN – SAN FRANCISCO — In a case seeking to stop California’s first-in-the-nation mandate requiring fuel producers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, federal justices on Tuesday focused their questions on whether the law discriminates against out-of-state businesses.
A three-justice panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments about the constitutionality of California’s “Low Carbon Fuel Standard,” a piece of the state’s landmark global warming law, AB 32.
The California Air Resources Board, the agency in charge of implementing the law, said the standard will cut California’s dependence on petroleum by 20 percent, and will account for one-tenth of the state’s goal to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.
The justices focused on the law’s reliance on a “carbon intensity score,” which measures pollution from a fuel’s entire life cycle — such as the type of electricity used to produce it or the fuel used to transport it to California — not just when it is burned in a vehicle.