Judge: Vermont Can Set Greenhouse Gas Standards for Automobiles 4

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)