SAN FRANCISCO -- Next month, the climate change litigation circus leaves Washington, D.C. First stop: the James R. Browning U.S. Courthouse. The elaborate Beaux Arts structure in an otherwise unremarkable district south of Market Street here is home to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. On Oct. 16, a three-judge panel will hear arguments on the legality of a California regulation that sets a low carbon fuel standard for transportation fuels in the state. It is the first such regulation in the nation. That case emphasizes how California is increasingly rivaling, if not surpassing, Washington as the center for climate litigation in the United States, reflecting the fact that the Golden State is acting on climate change in a way that neither the Obama administration nor Congress is at the moment in the aftermath of the dramatic failure to enact a national cap-and-trade program.