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Monday, 17 September 2007

Let's show them who's the boss!

A federal judge in Vermont gave the first legal endorsement yesterday to rules in California, being copied in 13 other states, that intend to reduce greenhouse gases emitted by automobiles and light trucks.

Ruling in a lawsuit against Vermont’s standards on those heat-trapping gases, the judge, William K. Sessions III, rejected a variety of challenges from auto manufacturers, including their contention that the states were usurping federal authority.

One central reason, Judge Sessions said, is that the California standards cover more than just fuel economy. They deal with carbon dioxide emissions, which are closely correlated with fuel economy, as well as other heat-trapping gases, including those in automobile air-conditioning units, which are not tied to fuel economy.

“The district court’s opinion is a sweeping rejection of the auto industry’s claim that California and other states” lack authority to regulate heat-trapping gases, Richard J. Lazarus, a law professor at Georgetown University, said in an e-mail message.

Under the California law, the emissions reductions for cars in the 2016 model year could be 30 percent or more below current levels.

California regulators have required that by 2012 emissions from cars and light trucks be reduced by 25 percent from 2005 levels. For larger trucks and sport utility vehicles, cuts of 18 percent were required.

Experts from the auto industry testified in the Vermont case that, because of the engineering and economic difficulties associated with meeting these goals, few if any of their cars and trucks would be sold in Vermont by 2016. / Seriously?!? /

The judge noted many of the emerging technologies for reducing gasoline consumption and questioned the automakers’ pessimism.

“It is improbable,” he wrote, “that an industry that prides itself on its modernity, flexibility and innovativeness will be unable to meet the requirements of the regulation, especially with the range of technological possibilities and alternatives currently before it.”

He was also skeptical of an industry expert’s claim that 65,000 jobs would be lost nationwide if California and its allies prevailed.
source-NY times

My comment: Finally someone to see it clearly that industry follows the market needs and requirements, not the other way around. I hope people stop picking up their noses and act, they way this judge acted. We all know what is the level of corruption in those sectors, but still, that doesn't mean we shouldn't try changing it. Go, California!

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