Court Ruling adds Hurdle to Implementation of California Greenhouse Gas Rules

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A California Superior Court issued a tentative ruling on January 24, 2011 against the California Air Resources Board (CARB or Board) putting in question the Board’s ambitious schedule for reducing greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the state.

The tentative decision enjoins “any implementation of the Scoping Plan (Plan) until Respondent (CARB) has come to complete compliance with its obligations under its certified regulatory program and CEQA [the California Environmental Quality Act].” At issue is the Board’s environmental analysis of potential alternatives to using a market-based emission reduction strategy, i.e. Cap and Trade. The lawsuit was filed by environmental justice (EJ) groups wanting greater direct regulation of industrial sources. There is a high probability that this decision will become final in its current form.

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