AB 32 Scoping Plan Lawsuit Decision is Finally Official – Limits Scope to Cap and Trade

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It’s official. San Francisco Superior Court Judge Ernest Goldsmith has suspended the completion of rulemaking for California’s cap-and-trade scheme until the California Air Resources Board (CARB or Board) conducts a more thorough California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) alternatives analysis under their approval of the policy road map, known as the Scoping Plan. Those following the case have been waiting for this final judgment to be issued.

On Friday, May 20, the seven-page decision made official what has been known since the original tentative decision released five months ago. What the Judge clarified in his final decision was that only the Cap and Trade program is affected by this decision and not the broader AB 32 program, including the Low Carbon Fuel Standard, as could have been interpreted under the first ruling. CARB has already appealed, thus starting a whole new legal proceeding.

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