Automakers Get Court Nod to Fight California's Greenhouse Gas Rules
FRESNO, CA – A federal judge in Fresno turned down California’s request to throw out the challenge to the state’s greenhouse gas by major automakers, reports Bloomberg News. The judge said the issues raised by car companies in the 2004 lawsuit should be decided in a trial. This clears the way for General Motors Co., Ford Motor Corp., and other automakers to continue their legal battle against rules limiting emissions linked to global warming, which the carmakers claim is an end run attempt to regulate fuel efficiency.The ruling came less than a week after California sued the six largest U.S. carmakers seeking damages for environmental and other harms caused by carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions. The auto industry sued California in 2004 to block a requirement that they cut such emissions by up to 30 percent, according to Bloomberg News. The rule is part of the state’s campaign against global warming and would take effect in model-year 2009, for which cars are now being designed. A trial is scheduled for Jan. 16. While the judge said in his ruling that the car companies’ claims that California’s rules are preempted by federal requirements should go to trial, he threw out the automakers’ claims that the rules interfere with interstate commerce and violate antitrust laws.