Federal Judge Rules Against Automakers

Frank Williams
by Frank Williams
federal judge rules against automakers

The Detroit News reports that U.S. District Judge William K. Sessions III rejected automakers' attempt to keep Vermont and 10 other states from adopting California's stricter emission standards. Vermont's brief argued that the Mountain State needs the new standards to protect their maple syrup and skiing industries from the environmental impact of auto-related greenhouse gases. (No mention was made of the environmental impact of these two industries.) The automakers countered that meeting the standards would too costly, if not impossible. Sessions' ruling stated "The court remains unconvinced automakers cannot meet the challenge of Vermont and California's [greenhouse gas] regulations" because they "fail to demonstrate that the regulation is not feasible, given the flawed assumptions and overly conservative selection of technologies documented." Sierra Club lawyer David Bookbinder hailed the decision as a triumph over "another example of Detroit crying wolf." Incidentally, the court's decision was 240 pages long. One wonders how many trees were cut down to publish this ruling.

Join the conversation
4 of 25 comments
  • Borderinsane Borderinsane on Sep 13, 2007

    @essen 09-13 13:20 -- Or maybe just sell the vehicles that meet the requirements of the lawsuit, verbatim, right now. Then, after auto dealers start failing because Vermonters go out-of-state to pick up the vehicles they want; the auto industry can demonstrate that their residents are showing the legislature how dumb a collection of pantywaists they really are.y that can be punished by removing consumer choice.

  • Johnster Johnster on Sep 13, 2007
    essen:Vermont does not have the clout (i.e. population) that California does. Maybe Detroit should teach them a lesson and abandon that market and/or charge them a surcharge. Not likely, I know. It seems to me that many manufacturers already charge a premium for the addition of a California emission control system and it isn't a big deal to people living in California. I doubt that Japanese, Korean, or European auto manufacturers will abandon Vermont. But yeah, let those wimpy Detroit surrender monkeys abandon Vermont. That will show 'em. After all, Detroit has already pretty much abandoned the market for well-built sensibly-sized cars and trucks as it is. The question is, if Detroit abandons Vermont, will anyone in Vermont notice? And by extension, if Detroit abandons the U.S., will U.S. car buyers notice?
  • Landcrusher Landcrusher on Sep 13, 2007

    Um, but it is a big deal to people in Cali. They buy less new cars. I will admit that I have no stats on this, but I did live there and from a completely anecdotal standpoint the driving junker percentage was higher than any other place I have ever lived. Only Colorado, which taxes the beans out of new cars, and El Paso which has no rust and a lot of poor people, came even close to the SF Bay area for crummy old autos on the road. At any rate, I can't see this as a big deal. They already make the cars for Cali, so just make more, or sell less. What's the big deal?

  • Landcrusher Landcrusher on Sep 13, 2007

    One more thing. If Mercedes has a 40 mpg S class available, and that's what Vermonters want to drive, then let them. Hope they have lots of cash though.