Transportation fuel is the greatest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in Washington State. To curb emissions, Governor Jay Inslee has charged the Washington State Department of Ecology with developing a Clean Fuel Standard (“CFS”) proposal, which may be proposed in future legislative sessions. The goal of a CFS is to reduce the overall carbon intensity of transportation fuel. California enacted a similar program in 2010—the low carbon fuel standard—which was challenged in federal court. One issue that remains open is whether a state low carbon fuel standard would be preempted by the federal Clean Air Act. This Essay considers whether the Clean Air Act would preempt a CFS in Washington. It concludes that a Washington CFS is unlikely to conflict with the purpose of any portion of the Clean Air Act and is therefore unlikely to be preempted.
An Analysis of Federal Preemption and a Clean Fuel Standard in Washington State,
wash. l. rev. online
Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.uw.edu/wlro/vol90/iss1/5