Global Warming Victory in California
December 12, 2007
Three months after a major win in Vermont, today the Sierra Club gained yet another victory in the fight to reduce global warming pollution. In Fresno, California the Federal District Court dismissed the auto industry's claims that federal law barred California from enforcing it own motor vehicle greenhouse gas regulations. In a 57-page decision, Judge Anthony Ishii held that these regulations did not in any way conflict with either federal fuel economy laws or with the President's power to conduct foreign policy. Emphasizing that the Clean Air Act expressly authorizes California to regulate emissions that affect human health and the environment, Judge Ishii threw out the auto industry's claims and found that Congress did not intend that this authority be curtailed by federal fuel economy laws.
"Just as we said earlier this year when we celebrated a similar victory in a Vermont court, instead of the automakers thinking of excuses, it’s time for them to put their immense know-how toward solving some of our most pressing problems," says Sierra Club attorney David Bookbinder. "This ruling should compel the U.S. automakers to make the kind of clean, efficient cars Americans want--the kind that foreign automakers have used to surge to record profits as the U.S. auto industry buckled under the weight of its gas guzzlers. This ruling is good for the environment, good for America, and, ultimately, good for the automakers."
September 12, 2007
Watershed Global Warming Victory in Vermont
In a stunning victory, today Judge William Sessions of the federal district court in Vermont ruled in favor of the Sierra Club, the states of Vermont and New York, and other environmental groups in rejecting the auto industry’s attempt to block states from regulating global warming emissions from cars. Session’s ruling opens the doors for New York and Vermont to proceed with enacting the California Clean Car (Pavley) Standards, pending EPA approval. These standards, adopted by California and at least 11 other states, will reduce global warming emissions from cars by 30 percent when fully implemented in 2016. This case is a watershed moment in the legal battle over the California Standards and will undoubtedly have an important impact on similar cases pending in California and Rhode Island.
Read the statement of Sierra Club Attorney David Bookbinder here!
April 11, 2007
Pavley Regulations Go on Trial in Burlington, Vermont
On April 11, 2007 California's historic greenhouse gas emissions limits, which have now been adopted by ten other states, went on trial in Burlington, Vermont before federal judge William Sessions III. The auto industry has filed lawsuits in several states, including California and Rhode Island, however this is the first time any of their suits have gone to trial. The regulations that Vermont has adopted go into effect from model year 2009, calling for a 30% decrease in global warming causing emissions by 2016. The Sierra Club, along with other environmental groups and the Attorney Generals of both Vermont and New York, is actively working to defend these crucial regulations and to urge the auto industry to use the currently available technology in order to meet them.
For up to date coverage of this trial, visit the Burlington Free Press' Car Emissions Coverage
January 19, 2007
Update: California Pavley Case
The decision issued in the Supreme Court’s landmark Massachusetts vs. EPA global warming case will answer the question of whether the federal Clean Air Act applies to the greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, that cause global warming. On January 18th, 2006 Judge Anthony Ishii of the federal district court in California issued an order to postpone trial in the case the auto industry has brought against the California Air Resources Board and Sierra Club, et al until the Supreme Court issues their decision. Judge Ishii’s decision rests on the fact that the Bush administration and the auto industry are making similar claims in both the Supreme Court and California cases. Rather than go through a lengthy trial this month as planned, he has decided to stay case until after the high court will issues their decision. The Supreme Court will decide Massachusetts vs. EPA by June 2007.
September 25, 2006
Update: California Pavley Case
On September 25, 2006 Judge Anthony Ishii of the federal district court in California threw out two of the auto industry’s five claims against the Pavley regulations. In his decision, Judge Ishii dismissed claims that the Pavley regulations 1) violate the commerce clause of the U.S Constitution and 2) are invalid because they are preempted by the Sherman Antitrust Act. As a result of this ruling, the defendants, including the Sierra Club, will go to trial on the remaining three claims, which are that the regulations are preempted under the Clean Air Act, the Energy Policy and Conservation Act, and the President's foreign policy powers.
February 16, 2006
The science behind global warming is conclusive and well-documented: historically, higher concentrations of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere have led to warmer global temperatures. Today, greenhouse gas pollution is causing global warming to occur at a much faster rate than ever before, and we are already feeling its effects—the ten hottest years on record have all occurred since 1990. In 2002, California responded to this global emergency through a law, known as the Pavley Bill after its author, which required the California Air Resources Board to reduce auto emissions of greenhouse gases. Ten states have since followed California's lead—Vermont, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Washington— and have adopted or are in the final stages of adopting the Pavley regulations.
However, the auto industry has responded by filing a half-dozen lawsuits challenging the Pavley regulations in several of these states. Sierra Club has intervened as a defendant in the cases in California, Vermont, and Rhode Island, and may join future lawsuits in the other states.
Details and Documents:
Opinion and Order of Judge William K. Sessions III
September 12 , 2007, U.S. District Court of Vermont
Judge Rejects Automakers' Emissions Suit
December 12, 2007 by Samantha Young, Associated Press
Judge puts 43 m.p.g. in view
September 13, 2007 by Justin Hyde, Detroit Free Press
Emission ruling is a victory for state's policy
September 13, 2007 by Jim Downing, Sacramento Bee
Federal judge gives boost to states on limiting vehicle emissions
September 13, 2007 by Bob Egelko, San Francisco Chronicle
States gain sway on emissions curbs
September 13, 2007 by Marc Lifsher and Janet Wilson, Los Angeles Times
Court Rules Against Automakers in Global Warming Case
September 12, 2007 by Justin Hyde, Detroit Free Press
US Court Upholds Tough Vermont Auto Emissions Law
September 12, 2007, Reuters
US Judge rejects automakers' bid to scrap state emissions rules
September 12 , 2007, Associated Press, International Herald Tribune
See other "Stop Polluters" cases.