Federal judge blocks Calif. low-carbon fuels rule

By the Associated Press | December 29, 2011 | 7:15 PM EST

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — A federal judge is blocking California from enforcing its first-in-the-nation mandate for cleaner, low-carbon fuels, saying the rules favor biofuels produced in the state.

The lawsuit challenging the regulations was filed in a Fresno federal court last year by the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association and the American Trucking Associations.

The California Air Resources Board adopted the low-carbon fuel standard as part of the state's landmark 2006 global warming law.

U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence O'Neill ruled Thursday that the rules violated a commerce clause by discriminating against crude oil and biofuels producers located outside California.

The board plans to ask a judge to stay the ruling. It says it will appeal if necessary.