U.S. Supreme Court

Case Status


Docket Number


Cert. Denied


Questions Presented

1. California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard, expressly and on its face, treats chemically identical fuels differently based on where they are produced and how far they travel before they are used in California. Did the Ninth Circuit err in concluding that the Low Carbon Fuel Standard does not facially discriminate against interstate commerce?

2. California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard regulates greenhouse gas emissions occurring in other States by rewarding and punishing industrial and agricultural activity taking place outside California. Did the Ninth Circuit err in concluding that the Low Carbon Fuel Standard is not an extraterritorial regulation?

Case Updates

Cert. petition denied

June 30, 2014

U.S. Chamber files amicus brief

April 21, 2014

The U.S. Chamber in its brief urged the U.S. Supreme Court to review a Ninth Circuit’s holding which affirmed California’s Low Carbon Fuels Standard (“LCFS”) regulation which is promulgated by the California Air Resources Board (“CARB”). The brief argues that the LCFS unconstitutionally regulates conduct outside California in violation of the Commerce Clause. The LCFS is a regulation that favors fuels that generate fewer carbon emissions during the “life cycle” of the fuel - which includes production and transportation of the fuel, in addition to using the fuel. Fuels with higher “carbon intensity” are penalized by requiring producers to purchase credits that increase the cost of the fuel within California. As a result, the regulation discriminates against fuels produced and transported from out-of-state. The brief explains that the LCFS will impede the free flow of transportation fuels in interstate commerce and thus hinder the operation of the Nation’s integrated market. The LCFS not only discriminates against out-of-state fuels in favor of in-state fuels, but also attempts to export California’s local policy preferences about means of production, methods of transportation, and land use throughout the United States and abroad. The brief points out that if left undisturbed, the LCFS could undermine the proper functioning of the Nation’s integrated national market in transportation fuels and embolden California and other states to enact discriminatory and extraterritorial laws.

The U.S. Chamber filed the brief jointly with American Petroleum Institute.

Jason A Levine, John P. Elwood, and Jeremy C. Marwell of Vinson & Elkins LLP represented the Chamber as co-counsel to the National Chamber Litigation Center.

Case Documents