Federal judge Lawrence J. O'Neill of the U.S. District Court in Fresno has stopped implementation of a California law that favors fuel producers with lower greenhouse gas emissions as part of the production process. The New York Times reports the judge has ruled that the regulation is an over-reach on California's part, one that attempts to regulate what goes on outside the borders of the state (it "unconstitutionally discriminates against out-of-state producers").

The intention of the law was to crank down greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by the start of the next decade. The laudability of the goal isn't in question, but the ruling holds that it's unconstitutional for California to discriminate, and the state cannot dictate farming methods for biofuel raw materials or the source of electrical energy for refineries. Ethanol, trucking, and farming interests all opposed the law in the first place, as well.

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