Carmakers Defeated On Emissions Rules


Washington Post – September 13, 2007

Yes, I understand. It is the right of every US citizen and US corporation to go to court when they feel wronged. It is also their right to try and convince the elected officials to do something that would be in their interest. However, in this case, can’t the US automakers understand that we need to curb the use of gasoline? This will reduce the effect of the US reliance on Mideast oil.

But that isn’t what this suit is about. I would support the government of Vermont in their efforts to reduce our “addiction” to oil. But this suit is to stop the government from inflicting a supposedly to heavy burden on the automobile industry. The Vermont government apparently believes that cars are the only or the biggest source of greenhouse gases. This is likely misguided.  So, the automotive industry has no other course but to sue to protect their interests.

My biggest concern is the statement by the Honorable Judge William Sessions when he says that the automotive industry can rise to technological challenges. But is this a technological challenge or is it a political one?

A federal judge in Vermont yesterday rejected an attempt by automakers to block individual states from adopting their own standards for limiting greenhouse gas emissions from cars and trucks.

Judge William Sessions III of U.S. District Court in Burlington ruled that state action to limit greenhouse gas emissions from new vehicles — standards that originated in California in 2002 and have since been adopted by Vermont and at least 10 other states — was not preempted by federal rules on vehicle fuel economy.

…sued Vermont to block rules calling for a 30 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles by 2016. In his ruling, Sessions wrote that he “remained unconvinced” about automakers’ claims that they could not make cars and trucks with cleaner emissions.

“History suggests that the ingenuity of the industry, once put in gear, responds admirably to most technological challenges,” he wrote.

Please click through and read the rest of this article so that you can draw your own conclusions.

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