Supreme Court Denies Oil Industry Petition to Review Oregon Clean Fuels Program

On May 13, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a request by the oil industry and its allies to review Oregon’s landmark low-carbon fuel standard.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld the Oregon Clean Fuels Program in September of last year. The American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers and others asked the Supreme Court to review and reverse the decision, but today the High Court declined to hear the case.

“Oregon’s common sense clean fuels program provides cleaner, healthier air for Oregonians and is thoroughly anchored in law,” said attorney Sean Donahue of Donahue, Goldberg and Weaver, who represented Environmental Defense Fund in this matter. “All Oregonians can breathe easier with today’s Supreme Court order denying the oil industry petition attacking these vital clean air standards.”

The Oregon Clean Fuels Program provides economic incentives supporting the development and marketing of fuels that emit less climate pollution during their life cycle. Opponents argued that the policy violated the interstate commerce clause of the Constitution on the grounds that it impermissibly regulated out-of-state fuel production and favored certain Oregon biofuels over out-of-state fuel sources like oil and gas.

The Ninth Circuit rejected those arguments, ruling the policy is constitutional because it does not judge fuels based on their place of origin, only on their climate pollution, and that it regulates evenhandedly. EDF was a party to that case.

The case before the Supreme Court was American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers et al. v. Jane O’Keeffe et al., case number 18-881.

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