Other than Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill that is. Let me, as they say, begin at the beginning.
Two years ago California passed rules designed to curb global climate whatever.
The rules also assign imported fuels a higher ‘carbon intensity’ score, meaning suppliers that use them could be forced to buy credits to comply with the rules.
There are two “translations” necessary here.
First, any supplier of fuel in California, whether that fuel be gasoline or ethanol, could be compelled to purchase “credits” from the state if that fuel came from some place other than California.. Of course, California doesn’t make a whole lot of fuel, so, pretty much any fuel supplied by a business to consumers in California is subject to this rule.
And, second, “buy credits” is secret code for tax.
California said [the rule was] justified because suppliers burn fuel and emit carbon when they transport fuels into the state.
Of course, you do the same thing when you drive into California with a full tank of gas and breath. But, luckily, under California law, you do not have to buy “credits” to do so.
And, thanks to Judge O’Neill’s ruling last week, no one will have to buy “credits” to enter the Golden State.
The judge found the California rules in violation of the United States Constitution…specifically, the interstate commerce clause… Article I, Section 8.
The easiest way to explain this is that California sought to impose a tax on fuel brought into California from another state. Could, for example, Florida impose a “tax” on oranges brought into Florida from California? Or, Connecticut impose a tax on nutmeg brought into Connecticut from Indiana? Of course not.
That is the beauty of our Constitution.
Someone in California should actually read it.