Judge: Vermont Can Set Greenhouse Gas Standards for Automobiles 1

Posted by Brad Johnson Wed, 12 Sep 2007 21:21:00 GMT

Judge William Sessions III issued his ruling in 2:05-CV-302 Green Mountain Chrysler-Plymouth-Dodge et al v. Crombie et al, a case in which the American Automobile Manufacturers sued the state of Vermont to block regulations adopted by Vermont in the fall of 2005 that follow’s California’s Pavley Law greenhouse gas emissions standards for new automobiles. Following the Supreme Court’s Massachusetts vs EPA decision that made it clear EPA has authority to regulate greenhouse gases, Sessions ruled in full for Vermont, stating:
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, 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.

The legality of Vermont’s regulations is pending the EPA’s decision to grant the California waiver petition under the Clean Air Act to allow California to implement the Pavley Law. (S. 1785, passed out of committee, would force the EPA to make a decision by September 30.)

Vermont was supported by the Conservation Law Foundation, Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council, Environmental Defense, Vermont PIRG, and the state of New York.

The AAM has suits pending in California and Rhode Island as well.

Read the full opinion and order (PDF)


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  1. [email protected] Sat, 15 Sep 2007 11:27:22 GMT

    These actions in VT and CA are heartening. I pray they will enspire similar movements in other states, once that happens we will have some chance of making meaningful changes to the total amount of these co2 emissions nationwide. When you listen to some of the critics against this you would think this movement simply wants to completly ‘banish’ the use of petroleum oil in it’s entirety and that just isn’t the case. The effort is to clean up our atmosphere and stop the destruction of the ice packs and area’s of geography that depend on it. It isn’t a movement against labor, or jobs either, quite the opposite in fact. One only has to look at our neighbors on the globe and take the best of their system’s and apply them here. Couple that with solar, wind, and oncoming changes we can win!