States Can Limit Greenhouse Gases From Vehicles ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: States Can Limit Greenhouse Gases From Vehicles

Thursday, December 13, 2007

States Can Limit Greenhouse Gases From Vehicles

GavelU.S. District Judge Anthony Ishii in Fresno, CA ruled states can limit greenhouse gases from vehicles. Automakers had argued "only the federal government can set fuel economy standards for all 50 states." Automakers would prefer to deal with just one rule, whatever it might be, across all 50 states. At the same time, they note that any stringent rules in California would become the basis across the nation given it's large market.

Judge Ishii disagreed with the automakers, saying state rules to limit greenhouse gases from vehicles do not conflict with federal fuel economy regulations. It was the third time this year California received backing from the courts, and the fourth time this year the automakers have had a set back.

The Supreme Court ruled the EPA must regulate emissions as pollutants unless it can back a refusal to do so with scientific evidence. A federal judge in Vermont upheld a law based on California's auto emission statute. And in November, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in S.F. ruled the new mpg standard for SUVs and light trucks failed to account for the effect of fuel consumption on global warming.

"It would be the very definition of folly" to preclude the EPA from acting, given its responsibilities to protect public health, Ishii said. (Source: signonsandiego)

A similar ruling was made in Vermont and is currently being appealed.

California (and the many states which are following California's lead) want to enforce greenhouse gas limits (up to 30% lower emissions), but need a waiver from the EPA to do so. The EPA, under the Clean Air Act, is still working on whether to grant the waiver. The state has sued the agency to force a decision, and EPA Administrator Steven Johnson has promised to decide by the end of the year.

The Bush administration has called for a "single national regulatory standard for both fuel economy and tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles."

Ishii noted that compliance "can be at least partially achieved through changes that are not directly reflected in fuel economy improvements," such as using other fuels and improving air conditioners. (source: SFGate)

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger called Wednesday's ruling "another important victory in the fight against global warming," adding, "California and other states will prevail in our goal to take aggressive action on climate change."

California has plans to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by 30% from 2009 to 2016, under a plan passed by the California Air Resources Board in 2004. (Source: LATimes)

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