Who Hijacked Our Country

Saturday, September 15, 2007

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.

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7 Comments:

Blogger Miss Kitty said...

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?

It IS kind of twisted: they can't give their gas-guzzling cars away (well, except to people who can afford $75 at each fill-up), but they're still against stricter emissions standards. Why NOT design cars that get better gas mileage and produce fewer emissions? Detroit baffles me.

September 16, 2007 at 6:36 AM  
Blogger Mile High Pixie said...

"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?"

Baaahahaha! Right on! I've always been a Ford gal from Georgia, but when my hubby and I decided to buy a new (used) car last year, we invested in a 2000 Honda Civic, and we haven't regretted it a bit. At 36 mpg, how can I justify "buying American"? If we're going to be capitalists, for-real capitalists, then Detroit has to make a product that the market really wants. If their cars were as fuel-efficient and of as high a quality as Toyota and Honda, maybe they wouldn't be losing their asses in the free market that conservatives claim to love.

September 16, 2007 at 12:24 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Miss Kitty: So true. It would serve Detroit's own interests (financially and PR-wise) to just compete with their Japanese and European counterparts and make a car that customers will buy.

Mile High Pixie: Yup, they claim they want capitalism and limited government, and yet they call in the federal government to help them so they don't have to compete with Europe or Japan. Go figure.

September 16, 2007 at 12:38 PM  
Blogger Larry said...

The automaker will just take more from the workers, and charge more for the vehicle to pay for this, instead of fixing the problem.

September 16, 2007 at 2:33 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Larry: Yup, that'll be their solution. Whenever the executives' 7-figure bonus packages are jeopardized, all they have to do is squeeze their workers harder. Those whiny shiftless laborers don't need health benefits or retirement pensions or a liveable wage.

September 16, 2007 at 3:29 PM  
Blogger Ziem said...

Not for nothin' but didn't companies like volkswagon make a killing in the 70's by coming out with fuel efficent cars? Hell, all the cool people I knew then owned a Rabbit.

You'd think a company that wanted to actually make money would spend more on research than court fees, then again... I'm an artist... what the hell do I know? I'll tell you. I know I own a car that gets 30mpg and I know when I trade it in, I will get even better gas mileage, because thats what I will buy.

September 16, 2007 at 8:10 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Ziem: Yup, it's that ol' "free market" again. If these Detroit dinosaurs would just figure out what consumers want (like it hasn't been obvious for 30 years), they could provide it and make billions. Maybe some future GM/Chrysler/Ford executives will have passed Business 101 and all will be well again.

September 16, 2007 at 10:46 PM  

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