W. States Petroleum Ass’n v. Envtl. Quality Comm’n, 296 Or. App. 298 (2019)
: Petitioners challenge the validity of the administrative rules adopted by respondent Environmental Quality Commission (EQC) that address low carbon fuel standards
(OAR 340-253-0000 to 340-253-8080). See
ORS 183.400(1) (providing jurisdiction in the Court of Appeals over petitions challenging the validity of administrative rules). They raise two arguments. First, they claim that EQC failed to evaluate certain factors that the Oregon legislature required EQC to evaluate when the legislature gave EQC the authority to adopt rules for low carbon fuel standards
. Second, they claim that the adopted rules violate Article IX, section 3a, of the Oregon Constitution because the rules constitute a tax on motor vehicle fuel
and the resulting tax revenue is not exclusively used for the construction and maintenance of public roads and roadside rest areas. The Court concludes that (1) EQC did evaluate the appropriate criteria when adopting and, in one instance, later readopting and amending the challenged rules and (2) the rules adopted by EQC do not result in a tax on motor vehicle fuel
and, as a result, are not subject to Article IX, section 3a. They reject the petitioners’ challenges and hold that the EQC rules are valid.
For the reasons stated above, we conclude that EQC evaluated the factors that the legislature required EQC to evaluate under ORS 468A.266(5) “in adopting” and later readopting and amending the Phase II rules. We also conclude that those rules do not result in a tax on motor vehicle fuel and, therefore, are not subject to Article IX, section 3a, of the Oregon Constitution.
The Court held that all of the challenged rules, OAR 340-253-0000 to 340-253-8080, are valid.
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