Court hears arguments in Calif. clean fuels case

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Associated Press

Posted on October 16, 2012 at 3:00 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 16 at 3:01 PM

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal appeals court hearing a case seeking to stop California's first-in-the-nation mandate requiring fuel producers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is focusing on whether the law discriminates against out-of-state businesses.

A three-justice panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday 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 justices' questions focused on the law's reliance on a "carbon intensity score," which measures pollution from a fuel's entire life cycle, not just when it is burned in a vehicle.

Out-of-state refiners and ethanol companies say this discriminates against their products because transportation to California raises the score.

The state says the law does not discriminate and will spur clean-fuels innovation.

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