The U.S. Supreme Court has turned down a 2015 lawsuit challenging Oregon’s right to clean up its polluting fuels, like gasoline and diesel, by encouraging the use of better sources like electricity, sustainable biofuels and renewable diesel.
Historically, tailpipe emissions have been responsible for nearly 40 percent of Oregon’s greenhouse gas pollution. Vehicle pollution also contributes to bad air quality that worsens asthma, heart disease, and cancer.
“Big Oil’s last ditch effort to undercut state authority to require cleaner fuels has failed again,” said Amanda Goodin, an attorney with Earthjustice. “This will allow more states to adopt programs to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions with confidence that their efforts will be upheld in court.”
Last September, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion dismissing industry claims against Oregon’s Clean Fuels program. Since then Washington and New York have introduced legislation to adopt similar standards and all of Canada is expected to have a clean fuels standard in place by 2020.
The Oregon Clean Fuels Program promotes lower-carbon fuels and has helped many state and private fleets advance the transition to cleaner-burning fuels, including Polk County’s police vehicles; transit agency electric buses; school buses; large business fleets, such as Kroger. It has also helped promote innovation in cleaner fuels, such as the ultra-low carbon biodiesel produced locally by SeQuential; and other innovative fuels such as renewable diesel which can be a 100% replacement for petroleum-based diesel.
“Today’s news from the Supreme Court is a victory for the people and our climate,” said Meredith Connolly, Oregon Director at Climate Solutions. “Cleaner fuels means healthier air, homegrown jobs, and fossil-free options for powering our transportation. The oil industry continues to try whatever they can to hold onto their monopoly over how Oregonians get around, but we are moving beyond oil.”