Thursday, September 13, 2007

A Huge Win for the Environment

Now if only the Big 3 would spend more time working on the problem instead of trying to keep from complying with the rules, we might get somewhere. Personally, I have no doubt that they could comply today, but that they have a plan to phase these various new technologies slowly, so they can keep prodding everyone to buy a new car every few years. That's why they hate the idea of the government telling them to do it within a certain time frame.

I know, it's really not enough, fast enough. But it certainly is progress compared to the fighting and denials.

Judge Rejects Carmakers' Emission Suit
By DAVE GRAM, Associated Press Writer

Vermont and several other states scored a victory on Wednesday in their battle to get automakers to comply with rules aimed at reducing global warming.

A federal judge ruled that states can regulate greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles, rejecting automakers' claims that federal law pre-empts state rules and that technology can't be developed to meet them.

"There is no question that the GHG (greenhouse gas) regulations present great challenges to automakers," Judge William Sessions III, sitting in the U.S. District Court in Burlington, wrote at the conclusion of his 240-page decision. He added, "History suggests that the ingenuity of the industry, once put in gear, responds admirably to most technological challenges. In light of the public statements of industry representatives, (the) history of compliance with previous technological challenges, and the state of the record, the court remains unconvinced automakers cannot meet the challenges of Vermont and California's GHG regulations."

During a 16-day trial that concluded in May, auto industry executives testified that the regulations — adopted by California and 11 other states and pending in three others — would not stop global warming but would impose devastating new costs on the industry.

Slated to start phasing in as of 2009, the limits would require a 30 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from cars and trucks by 2016, a standard the car makers have maintained would require average fuel economy standards for cars and the lightest category of trucks of 43.7 miles per gallon.


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