Oregon recently passed a Clean Fuels law, though it has not yet gone into effect. In order to make sure that it doesn’t, a group of truckers and others in the fuel manufacturing industry has started a lawsuit to block the new regulations. These companies and individuals are not from Oregon, but from out of state.
According to the group, the new law is a violation of U.S. Constitution, breaking the commerce clause. They say that the companies that make biofuels in Oregon will get an advantage in the state that is unfair to others in the industry. Groups involved in the lawsuit include the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, the Consumer Trade Association and the American Trucking Association Inc.
This is not the first time that the bill has run into opposition. It almost didn’t make it through the Oregon House, only winning by two votes, 31 to 29. The debate before the vote raged for a full five hours. Those who opposed said that it would make the cost of fuel increase dramatically, while those who were for it pointed out that it could help to reduce pollution and slash greenhouse gas levels.
This new lawsuit, which is meant to block the law even though it has been signed, argues that the Clean Air Act preempts it. The Clean Air Act is a federal regulation, while the Clean Fuels law is only going to be used on the state level.
Changes to laws and business practices often lead to litigation by those who feel the changes are unfair, and it’s very important to know what legal options exist.
Source: Portland Business Journal, “Truckers, fuel manufacturers sue to stop Oregon’s clean fuels law,” Wendy Culverwell, March. 23, 2015