Federal Judge Upholds States' Rights to Curb Emissions
WASHINGTON, D.C. --- A federal judge in Vermont last Wednesday ruled against the auto industry's attempts to block states from setting new, stringent emission standards and fuel economy rules. The state rules require automakers to provide an average fuel economy of about 43 miles per gallon in vehicles that weigh less than 3,750 pounds by 2016. Heavier vehicles would have to have an average fuel economy of about 26 mpg by that year.Vermont U.S. District Judge William K. Sessions said that the auto industry's legal arguments failed to show that the state rules are illegal, unsafe or unattainable, the Detroit Free Press reported. Automakers filed the lawsuit against the state of Vermont. A similar suit filed by automakers against California is set to go to trial in federal court in Fresno, Calif. Vermont's emission standards are, in fact, based on those outlined in a 2002 California law.