Automakers Sue to Stall Landmark California Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Reduction Law

On December 7th, General Motors, Daimler – Chrysler, Toyota and Ford filed a legal challenge against the State of California and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) claiming the State lacks the authority to regulate greenhouse gas pollution from motor vehicles. The suit challenges CARB's unanimous approval of a landmark rule that would reduce greenhouse gas pollution from California's passenger vehicles by 30% by 2016.

"If GM, Daimler – Chrysler, Toyota and Ford are going to survive, they have got to wake up to their responsibilities and design vehicles that emit less greenhouse gas pollution. It's especially disappointing to see Ford and Toyota filing suit, since they have been positioning themselves as environmentally sensitive manufacturers," said Environmental Defense attorney Jim Marston. "The CARB rule is a wake-up call to this industry to design vehicles that are compatible with the long-term well-being of California's and, more broadly, the Earth's environment, public health and economic sustainability."

"This is just another delay tactic from an industry known for crying wolf," said Environmental Defense policy analyst Kate Larsen. "Industry's bringing lawyers to the table instead of engineers can prevent California drivers from enjoying the vehicle choices and cost savings they demand and deserve."

In 2002, California passed a law designed to cut the impact of the state's biggest source of greenhouse gas pollution: passenger vehicles. This ground-breaking law–Assembly Bill 1493–("Pavley") requires CARB to adopt regulations that achieve the maximum feasible and cost-effective reduction of greenhouse gas pollution emitted by passenger vehicles.

CARB will forward its final rule to Governor Schwarzenegger and the state legislature on January first, 2005. The measure is scheduled to go into effect on January first 2006.

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