The liver is critical for maintaining systemic energy balance during starvation. To understand the role of hepatic fatty acid β-oxidation on this process, we generated mice with a liver-specific knockout of carnitine palmitoyltransferase 2 (Cpt2L-/-), an obligate step in mitochondrial long-chain fatty acid β-oxidation. Surprisingly, Cpt2L-/- mice survived the perinatal period and a 24hr fast with sufficient blood glucose. The loss of hepatic fatty acid oxidation resulted in a significant loss in circulating ketones that remained unaltered by fasting. Fasting induced serum dyslipidemia, hepatic steatosis and adaptations in hepatic and systemic oxidative gene expression in Cpt2L-/- mice to maintain systemic energy homeostasis. Alternatively, feeding a ketogenic diet resulted in severe hepatomegaly, liver damage and death within one week with a complete absence of adipose triglyceride stores. These data show that hepatic fatty acid oxidation is not required for survival during acute food deprivation but essential for constraining adipocyte lipolysis and regulating systemic catabolism when glucose is limiting. In this dataset, we include the expression data obtained from dissected mouse liver from mice fasted for 24 hours with and without the deletion of carnitine palmitoyltransferase 2 (i.e. hepatocytes unable to beta-oxidize long chain fatty acids in mitochondria). WildType and KnockOut mice were fasted for 24 hours. Three biologic replicates were compared per class, thus six mice.