Rocky Mountain Farmers Union v. Corey, Nos. 12–15131

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
Writing for the CourtGOULD
Citation730 F.3d 1070
PartiesROCKY MOUNTAIN FARMERS UNION; Redwood County Minnesota Corn and Soybean Growers; Penny Newman Grain, Inc.; Rex Nederend; Fresno County Farm Bureau; Nisei Farmers League; California Dairy Campaign; Growth Energy; Renewable Fuels Association; American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers Association, FKA National Petrochemical & Refiners Association; American Truckings Associations; Center for North American Energy Security; The Consumer Energy Alliance, Plaintiffs–Appellees, v. Richard W. COREY, in his official capacity as Executive Officer of the California Air Resources Board; Mary D. Nichols; Daniel Sperling; Ken Yeager; Dorene D'Adamo; Barbara Riordan; John R. Balmes; Lydia H. Kennard; Sandra Berg; Ron Roberts; John G. Telles, in his official capacity as member of the California Air Resources Board; Ronald O. Loveridge, in his official capacity as member of the California Air Resources Board; Edmund G. Brown, Jr., in his official capacity as Governor of the State of California; Kamala D. Harris, Attorney General, in her official capacity as Attorney General of the State of California, Defendants–Appellants, Environmental Defense Fund; Natural Resources Defense Council; Sierra Club; Conservation Law Foundation, Intervenor–Defendants–Appellants. Rocky Mountain Farmers Union; Redwood County Minnesota Corn and Soybean Growers; Penny Newman Grain, Inc.; Rex Nederend; Fresno County Farm Bureau; Nisei Farmers League; California Dairy Campaign; Growth Energy; Renewable Fuels Association; American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers Association, FKA National Petrochemical & Refiners Association; American Truckings Associations; Center for North American Energy Security; The Consumer Energy Alliance, Plaintiffs–Appellees, v. Richard W. Corey, in his official capacity as Executive Officer of the California Air Resources Board; Mary D. Nichols; Daniel Sperling; Ken Yeager; Dorene D'Adamo; Barbara Riordan; John R. Balmes; Lydia H. Kennard; Sandra Berg; Ron Roberts; John G. Telles, in his official capacity as member of the California Air Resources Board; Ronald O. Loveridge, in his official capacity as member of the California Air Resources Board; Edmund G. Brown, Jr., in his official capacity as Governor of the State of California; Kamala D. Harris, Attorney General, in her official capacity as Attorney General of the State of California, Defendants–Appellants, Environmental Defense Fund; Natural Resources Defense Council; Sierra Club; Conservation Law Foundation, Intervenor–Defendants–Appellants.
Decision Date18 September 2013
Docket NumberNos. 12–15131,12–15135.

730 F.3d 1070

ROCKY MOUNTAIN FARMERS UNION; Redwood County Minnesota Corn and Soybean Growers; Penny Newman Grain, Inc.; Rex Nederend; Fresno County Farm Bureau; Nisei Farmers League; California Dairy Campaign; Growth Energy; Renewable Fuels Association; American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers Association, FKA National Petrochemical & Refiners Association; American Truckings Associations; Center for North American Energy Security; The Consumer Energy Alliance, Plaintiffs–Appellees,
v.
Richard W. COREY, in his official capacity as Executive Officer of the California Air Resources Board; Mary D. Nichols; Daniel Sperling; Ken Yeager; Dorene D'Adamo; Barbara Riordan; John R. Balmes; Lydia H. Kennard; Sandra Berg; Ron Roberts; John G. Telles, in his official capacity as member of the California Air Resources Board; Ronald O. Loveridge, in his official capacity as member of the California Air Resources Board; Edmund G. Brown, Jr., in his official capacity as Governor of the State of California; Kamala D. Harris, Attorney General, in her official capacity as Attorney General of the State of California, Defendants–Appellants,
Environmental Defense Fund; Natural Resources Defense Council; Sierra Club; Conservation Law Foundation, Intervenor–Defendants–Appellants.

Rocky Mountain Farmers Union; Redwood County Minnesota Corn and Soybean Growers; Penny Newman Grain, Inc.; Rex Nederend; Fresno County Farm Bureau; Nisei Farmers League; California Dairy Campaign; Growth Energy; Renewable Fuels Association; American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers Association, FKA National Petrochemical & Refiners Association; American Truckings Associations; Center for North American Energy Security; The Consumer Energy Alliance, Plaintiffs–Appellees,
v.
Richard W. Corey, in his official capacity as Executive Officer of the California Air Resources Board; Mary D. Nichols; Daniel Sperling; Ken Yeager; Dorene D'Adamo; Barbara Riordan; John R. Balmes; Lydia H. Kennard; Sandra Berg; Ron Roberts; John G. Telles, in his official capacity as member of the California Air Resources Board; Ronald O. Loveridge, in his official capacity as member of the California Air Resources Board; Edmund G. Brown, Jr., in his official capacity as Governor of the State of California; Kamala D. Harris, Attorney General, in her official capacity as Attorney General of the State of California, Defendants–Appellants,
Environmental Defense Fund; Natural Resources Defense Council; Sierra Club; Conservation Law Foundation, Intervenor–Defendants–Appellants.

Nos. 12–15131, 12–15135.

United States Court of Appeals,
Ninth Circuit.

Argued and Submitted Oct. 16, 2012.
Filed Sept. 18, 2013.


[730 F.3d 1075]


M. Elaine Meckenstock (argued), Deputy Attorney General, Kamala D. Harris, Attorney General of California, Kathleen A. Kenealy, Senior Assistant Attorney General, Robert W. Byrne, Supervising Deputy Attorney General, Mark W. Poole, Gavin G. McCabe, David A. Zonana, Deputy Attorneys General, San Francisco, CA, for Defendants–Appellants.

Sean H. Donahue (argued) Donahue & Goldberg, LLP, Washington, D.C., Timothy Joseph O'Connor, Environmental Defense Fund, San Francisco, CA; James T.B. Tripp, Environmental Defense Fund, New York, NY; David Richard Pettit, Natural Resources Defense Council, Santa Monica, CA; Joanne Spalding and Devorah Ancel, Sierra Club, San Francisco, CA; Jennifer Kate Rushlow, Conservation Law

[730 F.3d 1076]

Foundation, Boston, MA, for Intervenor–Defendant–Appellants.


Peter D. Keisler (argued), Roger R. Martella, Jr., Paul Zidlicky, Eric D. McArthur, and Ryan C. Morris, Sidley Austin LLP, Washington, D.C.; Kurt E. Blase, Holland & Knight, LLP, Washington, D.C., for Plaintiffs–Appellees American Fuels & Petrochemical Manufacturers Association (formerly known as National Petrochemical and Refiners Association), American Trucking Associations, the Center for North American Energy Security, and the Consumer Energy Alliance.

John C. O'Quinn (argued), Michael W. McConnell, Stuart A.C. Drake, Katherine Crytzer, Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Washington, D.C.; Howard R. Rubin, Charles H. Knauss, Jennifer Baker Loeb, Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, Washington, D.C.; Shannon S. Broome, Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, Oakland, CA; Timothy Jones and John P. Kinsey, Wanger Jones Helsley PC, Fresno, CA, for Plaintiffs–Appellees Rocky Mountain Farmers Union; Redwood County Minnesota Corn and Soybeans Growers; Penny Newman Grain, Inc.; Fresno County Farm Bureau; Nisei Farmers League; California Dairy Campaign; Rex Nederend; Growth Energy; and the Renewable Fuels Association.

Jon Bruning, Nebraska Attorney General, Kevin L. Griess and Katherine J. Spohn, Assistant Attorneys General, Lincoln, NE, for Amici Curiae States of Nebraska, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, and South Dakota.

Kevin Murray Fong, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, San Francisco, CA, for Amici Curiae Western States Petroleum Association and Oregon Petroleum Association.

Michael Rhead Enion, Sean Hecht, and Cara Horowitz, Frank G. Wells Environmental Law Clinic, UCLA School of Law, Los Angeles, CA, for Amici Curiae Truman National Security Project and Truman National Security Institute.

Katherine Mayer Mangan, Mayer Mangan, PLC, San Diego, CA, for Amicus Curiae Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association.

Matthew Dwight Zinn, Shute, Mihaly, and Weinberger, San Francisco, CA, for Amicus Curiae Professors of Environmental Law.

Deborah Ann Sivas, Alicia E. Thesing, Matthew H. Armsby, Daniel Cullenward, Mills Legal Clinic at Stanford Law School, Stanford, CA, for Amici Curiae Ken Caldeira, Ph.D., W. Michael Hanemann, Ph.D., John Harte, Ph.D., Katharine Hayhoe, Ph.D., James C. McWilliams, Ph.D., Michael Oppenheimer, Ph.D., Terry Root, Ph.D., Richard Somerville, Ph.D., John M. Wallace, Ph.D., James Zachos, Ph.D., and William R.L. Anderegg.

Pierre G. Basmaji, Law Office of Pierre G. Basmaji, San Francisco, CA, for Amicus Curiae Ecoshift Consulting, LLC.

Deborah A. Sivas, Alicia E. Thesing, Leah J. Russin, Matthew H. Armsby, David Weiskopf, Mills Legal Clinic at Stanford Law School, Stanford, CA, for Amici Curiae Michael Wang, Ph.D., Thomas L.Theis, Ph.D., Greg Thoma, Ph.D., Matthew Eckelman, Ph.D., and Kimberley Mullins, Ph.D. Candidate.

John R. Kroger, Attorney General of Oregon, Anna M. Joyce, Solicitor General, Denise G. Fjordbeck, Attorney–in–Charge, Civil/Administrative Appeals, Cecil A. Reniche–Smith, Assistant Attorney General, Salem, OR; Douglas F. Gansler, Attorney General of Maryland, Maryland Department of the Environment, Baltimore, MD; Martha Coakley, Attorney General of Massachusetts, Boston, MA; Eric T. Schneiderman, Attorney General of New York, New York, NY; Peter F. Kilmartin, Attorney General of Rhode Island, Providence,

[730 F.3d 1077]

RI; William H. Sorrell, Attorney General of Vermont, Montpelier, VT; Robert M. McKenna, Attorney General of Washington, Olympia, WA, for Amici Curiae States of Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.

Jason A. Levine, John P. Elwood, and Jeremy C. Marwell, Vinson & Elkins LLP, Washington, D.C.; Robin S. Conrad and Rachel L. Brand, National Chamber Litigation Center, Inc., Washington, D.C.; Harry M. Ng and Erik C. Baptist, American Petroleum Institute, Washington, D.C., for Amici Curiae Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America and the American Petroleum Institute.


Edward C. Mosca, Legal Counsel, New Hampshire House of Representatives, Concord, NH, for Amici Curiae Peter Bragdon, President of the New Hampshire State Senate, and William L. O'Brien, Speaker of the New Hampshire House of Representatives.


Elbert Lin and Samuel B. Gedge, Wiley Rein LLP, Washington, D.C., for Amicus Curiae Law Professors.


Joshua W. Abbot, Gary E. Marchant, Center for Law, Science & Innovation, Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, Tempe, AZ, for Amici Curiae Scientific Experts.


Gary J. Smith, Beveridge & Diamond, PC, San Francisco, CA, for Amicus Curiae California Manufacturers & Technology Association.


Tammy W. Klein, Hart Energy, Houston, TX, for Amicus Curiae Hart Energy.


Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California, Lawrence J. O'Neill, District Judge, Presiding.
D.C. Nos. 1:09–cv–02234–LJO–GSA, 1:10–cv–00163–LJO–DLB.
Before: D.W. NELSON, RONALD M. GOULD,* and MARY H. MURGUIA, Circuit Judges.


OPINION

GOULD, Circuit Judge:

Whether global warming is caused by carbon emissions from our industrialized societies is a question for scientists to ponder. Whether, if such a causal relationship exists, the world can fight or retard global warming by implementing taxes or regulations that deter carbon emissions is a question for economists and politicians to decide. Whether one such regulatory scheme, implemented by the State of California, is constitutional under the United States Constitution's Commerce Clause is the question that we consider in this opinion.

Plaintiffs–Appellees Rocky Mountain Farmers' Union et al. (“Rocky Mountain”) and American Fuels & Petrochemical Manufacturers Association et al. (“American Fuels”) separately sued Defendant–Appellant California Air Resources Board (“CARB”), contending that the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (“Fuel Standard”), Cal.Code Regs. tit. 17, §§ 95480–90 (2011), violated the dormant Commerce Clause and was preempted by Section 211( o) of the Clean Air Act, 42 U.S.C. § 7545( o), known as the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (“RFS”). In three rulings issued in December 2011, the district court held that the Fuel Standard (1) facially discriminated against out-of-state ethanol; (2) impermissibly engaged in the extraterritorial regulation of ethanol production; (3) discriminated

[730 F.3d 1078]

against out-of-state crude oil in purpose and effect; and (4) was not saved by California's preemption waiver in the Clean Air Act. See Rocky Mountain Farmers Union v. Goldstene (“ Rocky Mountain Ethanol ”), 843 F.Supp.2d 1071, 1090, 1093 (E.D.Cal.2011); Rocky Mountain Farmers Union...

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110 practice notes
  • PacifiCorp v. Wash. Utilities & Transp. Comm'n, No. 46009–2–II.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Washington
    • April 27, 2016
    ...¶ 69 The Commerce Clause provides Congress the authority to regulate interstate commerce. Rocky Mountain Farmers Union v. Corey, 730 F.3d 1070, 1087 (9th Cir.2013), cert. denied, ––– U.S. ––––, 134 S.Ct. 2875, 189 L.Ed.2d 835 (2014). The dormant Commerce Clause is the negative implication o......
  • Levin Richmond Terminal Corp. v. City of Richmond, Case Nos. 20-cv-01609-YGR
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Northern District of California
    • August 27, 2020
    ...era, the Supreme Court has rarely held that statutes violate the extraterritoriality doctrine." Rocky Mountain Farmers Union v. Corey , 730 F.3d 1070, 1101 (9th Cir. 2013). The two most prominent cases in which the court has found a violation, Brown-Forman and Healy , involved price-affirma......
  • Just Puppies, Inc. v. Frosh, Civil Action ELH-21-1281
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court (Maryland)
    • September 17, 2021
    ...be said to impose a special burden on interstate commerce.”) (emphasis in original); see also Rocky Mountain Farmers Union v. Corey, 730 F.3d 1070, 1092 (9th Cir. 2013) (observing that “the dormant Commerce Clause does not guarantee that [the plaintiffs] may compete on the terms they find m......
  • Rocky Mountain Farmers Union v. Corey, Lead Case: 1:09-cv-2234-LJO-BAM Consolidated with member case: 1:10-cv-163-LJO-BAM.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Eastern District of California
    • June 15, 2017
    ...challenge to the LCFS.5 After the Ninth Circuit remanded the case to this Court in 2014, see Rocky Mountain Farmers Union v. Corey, 730 F.3d 1070 (9th Cir. 2013) (" RMFU"), the Court granted in part and denied in part the AFPM Plaintiffs' motion to amend the complaint. Rocky Mountain Farmer......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
96 cases
  • PacifiCorp v. Wash. Utilities & Transp. Comm'n, No. 46009–2–II.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Washington
    • April 27, 2016
    ...¶ 69 The Commerce Clause provides Congress the authority to regulate interstate commerce. Rocky Mountain Farmers Union v. Corey, 730 F.3d 1070, 1087 (9th Cir.2013), cert. denied, ––– U.S. ––––, 134 S.Ct. 2875, 189 L.Ed.2d 835 (2014). The dormant Commerce Clause is the negative implication o......
  • Levin Richmond Terminal Corp. v. City of Richmond, Case Nos. 20-cv-01609-YGR
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Northern District of California
    • August 27, 2020
    ...the Supreme Court has rarely held that statutes violate the extraterritoriality doctrine." Rocky Mountain Farmers Union v. Corey , 730 F.3d 1070, 1101 (9th Cir. 2013). The two most prominent cases in which the court has found a violation, Brown-Forman and Healy , involved price-affirma......
  • Just Puppies, Inc. v. Frosh, Civil Action ELH-21-1281
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court (Maryland)
    • September 17, 2021
    ...be said to impose a special burden on interstate commerce.”) (emphasis in original); see also Rocky Mountain Farmers Union v. Corey, 730 F.3d 1070, 1092 (9th Cir. 2013) (observing that “the dormant Commerce Clause does not guarantee that [the plaintiffs] may compete on the terms they find m......
  • Rocky Mountain Farmers Union v. Corey, Lead Case: 1:09-cv-2234-LJO-BAM Consolidated with member case: 1:10-cv-163-LJO-BAM.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Eastern District of California
    • June 15, 2017
    ...challenge to the LCFS.5 After the Ninth Circuit remanded the case to this Court in 2014, see Rocky Mountain Farmers Union v. Corey, 730 F.3d 1070 (9th Cir. 2013) (" RMFU"), the Court granted in part and denied in part the AFPM Plaintiffs' motion to amend the complaint. Rocky Mount......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
13 books & journal articles
  • An Empirical Look at Preliminary Injunctions in Challenges Under Environmental Protection Laws
    • United States
    • Environmental Law Reporter Nbr. 47-5, May 2017
    • May 1, 2017
    ...Cir. 2012) Rocky Mountain Farmers Union v. Goldstene Granted; All four met 843 F. Supp. 2d 1071 (E.D. Cal. 2011) Vacated and remanded 730 F.3d 1070 (9th Cir. 2013) Cloud Found. v. U.S. Bureau of Land Mgmt. Denied; None met 802 F. Supp. 2d 1192 (D. Nev. 2011) Rosemere Neighborhood Ass’n v. C......
  • Black Carbon
    • United States
    • Legal pathways to deep decarbonization in the United States Part VIII - Non-Carbon Dioxide Climate Pollutants
    • March 24, 2019
    ...local governments should also work to ensure that diesel truck operators have access to 245. See Rocky Mountain Farmers Union v. Corey, 730 F.3d 1070 (9th Cir. 2013) (rejecting dormant Commerce Clause challenge to California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard), reh’g en banc denied , 740 F.3d 507 (......
  • Minimizing Constitutional Risk in State Energy Policy: A Survey of the State of the Law
    • United States
    • Environmental Law Reporter Nbr. 45-5, May 2015
    • May 1, 2015
    ...no higher than the lowest prices charged to wholesalers anywhere in the United States that month). 59. Rocky Mtn. Farmers Union v. Corey, 730 F.3d 1070, 1101, 43 ELR 20216 (9th Cir. 2013) (“In the modern era, the Supreme Court has rarely held that statutes violate the extraterritoriality do......
  • Legal After-Shocks on the Energy Seismograph: Judicial Prohibition of Recent State Regulation and Promotion of Power
    • United States
    • Environmental Law Reporter Nbr. 45-6, June 2015
    • June 1, 2015
    ...Illinois Commerce Comm’n v. Federal Energy Regulatory Comm’n (FERC), 721 F.3d 764 (7th Cir. 2013); Rocky Mtn. Farmers Union v. Corey, 730 F.3d 1070, 43 ELR 20216 (9th Cir. 2013). 9. Entergy Nuclear Vt. Yankee, LLC v. Shumlin, 838 F. Supp. 2d 183, 233, 42 ELR 20029 (D. Vt. 2012); Rocky Mtn. ......
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