Detroit Automakers’ Lawsuit Dismissed: States CAN regulate Emission Standards
A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by the Detroit automakers against Vermont and fourteen other states. Detroit was suing to prevent these states from setting auto emission standards that were tighter than federal standards. Now that their suit has been thrown out, these fifteen states are free to set their own emission standards as they see fit.
The ruling — by Judge William Sessions — is a victory for the environment and public health. It’s also a victory for States’ Rights, so conservatives are undoubtedly happy about this decision.
Detroit’s priorities seem kind of twisted to me. If I were in their shoes, I’d be spending less time in the courtroom and more time trying to design a vehicle that somebody somewhere might want to buy — but what do I know?
Vermont Governor Jim Douglas said: "We were up against a very strong adversary in the auto industry, but the law and the facts were clearly on our side. Most of Vermont's greenhouse gas emissions are from motor vehicles, so if we're going to reduce our carbon footprint, we need to set high but achievable standards for automobiles."
Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell said the ruling was "a major victory. They (automakers) will appeal, probably. But for folks who are concerned about global warming and environmental quality in this country and in the world, this was a good day."
And it was a good day for conservatives too. This ruling prevented two things that conservatives hate (or claim to anyway): excessive litigation, and states’ rights getting trampled by the federal government. So far I haven’t seen any conservative bloggers or columnists rejoicing about this court decision; maybe they just haven’t heard about it yet.