Appeal in POET II could complicate California Air Resources Board’s proposed LCFS amendments.
In the case commonly referred to as POET II, petitioner POET, LLC, a biofuels manufacturer, challenged the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) and Alternative Diesel Fuels (ADF) regulations which the California Air Resources Board (ARB) adopted in 2015. After briefing had been completed, defendant-respondent ARB filed a motion for judgement on the pleadings (MJOP) on November 21, 2017, in an attempt to have the case dismissed in light of earlier rulings in the related POET I case. On January 5, 2018 the Fresno County Superior Court issued a ruling granting the MJOP with respect to all claims and dismissing the entire case as moot. On March 6, 2018, POET noticed an appeal of the Superior Court’s decision to the California Court of Appeal for the Fifth Appellate District, the same Court of Appeal that issued the decisions in POET I. In that decision, the court sharply criticized the ARB for not acting in good faith and found that ARB failed to comply with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
Also on March 6, 2018, ARB released proposed amendments to the LCFS that would, inter alia, extend the Program to 2030. Included in the amendment package is an analysis of nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions attributable to the LCFS, prepared in an attempt to fulfill the writ of mandate issued in POET I. On March 12, 2018, ARB released Regulatory Guidance Document 18-01, which updates prior guidance regarding ARB’s plans to meet the requirements of the writ of mandate issued in POET I. The appeal in POET II carries important implications for the Regulatory Guidance, the amendment package, and potentially for the future of the LCFS Program. Continue Reading