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Regulating Carbon Intensity and Anti-Protectionism: Finding the Right Balance PDF Print E-mail
Carbon Litigation
Monday, 23 January 2012 06:21

A recent federal court decision ruling that California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) violates the dormant Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution highlights an issue that has much broader implications than the setback it creates for that state's plan for shrinking its net carbon emissions in the transportation sector. In finding that California's preferential treatment for fuels with low full life-cycle "carbon intensity" (all carbon emitted from extraction and refinement to point of sale) discriminates against out-of-state fuel suppliers, the court's decision in Rocky Mountain Farmers Union v. Goldstene has underscored the need for balancing legitimate anti-protectionist concerns with the ability of governments to reduce the carbon footprints of states, regions, or countries.

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