The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), a representative for the ethanol industry, is disappointed about California's decision on Thursday to adopt a low carbon fuel standard because it says is unfairly penalizing ethanol.

Adopting this standard sets a dangerous precedent about the application of unproven science to industries across the country. This standard is based on flawed analysis and selectively enforced penalties against biofuels only, Rob Dinneen, the President and CEO of the association said today. In unfairly penalizing ethanol, ARB (California’s Air Resources Board) is relegating California to more petroleum use as biofuels are the only viable alternative liquid fuel.”

Environmentalist groups argue that the ethanol industry has an indirect effect on land use because in order to grow corn for the fuel, food crops are displaced and those food crops can in turn end up displacing forest land.

California's ARB, however, said it would continue to study the indirect effect of biofuels on the land. The RFA said it was optimistic about that decision.

The rule approved by the ARB is the first ever in the U.S. to cut carbon emissions from fuels and not from autos or vehicles. It is the result of a 2007 executive order by California's Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The target goals are to cut greenhouse gas emissions from fuels in the state by 10 percent by the year 2020 and to replace 20 percent of the fuel used by cars in California with clean alternative fuels by 2020.

President Barack Obama has called for a nationwide low-carbon fuel standard to help meet his goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions more than 80 percent by mid-century. Greenhouse gases are blamed for global warming.