Federal judge blocks Calif. low-carbon fuels rule

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California officials say they will ask a federal judge to stay his ruling that blocks the state from enforcing the first-in-the-nation mandate for cleaner, low-carbon fuels.

In a decision issued Thursday, Fresno-based U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence O'Neill said the low-carbon fuel rules favor biofuels produced in the state. He said that violates the U.S. Constitution's commerce clause by discriminating against crude oil and biofuels producers located outside California.

California Air Resources Board spokesman Dave Clegern disagreed, saying the fuel rule is "an evenhanded standard that encourages the use of cleaner low carbon fuels by regulating fuel-providers in California."

He said the board plans to ask the judge to stay the ruling, and appeal if necessary to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Out-of-state fuels producers hailed the decision as a win for California drivers.

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