Green Light for Vermont and California's Clean Car Standards

WASHINGTON (September 12, 2007) – A federal court in Vermont today upheld California’s landmark global warming tailpipe standards against a legal attack brought by the auto industry. The court ruled that the federal fuel economy law does not block California and other states from adopting laws to cut global warming pollution from vehicles. The court also rejected automakers’ claims that the standards would hurt consumers or are technically infeasible.
“This is a tremendous step forward for states trying to do everything they can to fight global warming,” said David Doniger, policy director of the Climate Center at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). “The ruling affirms the right of any state to choose the emission standard first set by California. This is an essential tool in the fight to prevent the worst impacts of global warming.” NRDC joined with several states and other groups in defending the California rules in court.
After a 3-week trial in which the automakers put forward their best witnesses, the Court ruled that the companies “have not carried their burden to show that compliance with the regulation is not feasible; nor have they demonstrated that it will limit consumer choice, create economic hardship for the automobile industry, cause significant job loss, or undermine safety.”