ATA joins lawsuit to block price-hiking Oregon fuel standards

March 25, 2015

The American Trucking Associations announced it was joining with the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers and the Consumer Energy Alliance in suing the state of Oregon to block the state’s low carbon fuel standards.

“Just as trucking is the lifeblood of our economy, for the foreseeable future, diesel fuel is the lifeblood of the trucking industry,” said ATA President and CEO Bill Graves. “Anything that unnecessarily raises the cost of fuel will not just hurt the trucking industry, but will also hurt consumers everywhere in the form of higher prices for food, clothing and other consumer goods.”

Oregon’s “Clean Fuels Program,” which seeks to regulate the entire carbon lifecycle of fuel sold in the state, provides unfair benefits to Oregon’s biofuels industry and harms out-of-state refiners and producers in violation of the Commerce Clause.

“The Oregon program is set up to give a big boost to Oregon’s small biofuel industry, without reducing net greenhouse gas emissions, and at the expense of higher fuel costs for everyone,” said ATA Vice-President for Energy and Environmental Affairs Glen Kedzie. “Unfortunately for Oregon, the Constitution doesn’t allow states to set up these kinds of trade barriers in order to promote in-state businesses, nor does it allow Oregon to regulate how fuel is produced in other states.”

Oregon’s new standard would raise fuel prices across the state while doing nothing to reduce overall greenhouse emissions. “A similar standard implemented in neighboring California is projected to add roughly $1.89 per gallon wholesale by 2020,” Kedzie said, citing a California Trucking Association study.

“As an Oregonian and an owner of a trucking company, I’m concerned that this new standard will make doing business here needlessly costly,” said former ATA Chairman Mike Card, president of Combined Transport, Central Point OR. “The fuels that trucking depends on will be made more expensive by this regulation that won’t reduce overall greenhouse emissions.”

The complaint, filed in the US District Court for the District of Oregon, also challenges Oregon’s CFP as preempted under the Federal Clean Air Act.