VERMONT – On Wed., Sept. 12, a federal judge in Vermont issued a ruling relative to tailpipe emissions, saying that the state’s emissions laws are not in conflict with federal fuel economy laws. This is one more hurdle that would allow California and 12 states that have adopted their laws to enforce their emissions laws, leading to increased demand for a national market for cleaner-burning vehicles.
American Automotive Leasing Association environmental counsels, Kipp Coddington and Paul Smith, reviewed the ruling and provided the following assessment:
This case does not impact fleets. It is more likely to be of interest to the OEMs.
The case is moderately interesting for the proposition that federal preemption of California’s pending tailpipe emission standards, mainly because the VT case deals with the California standards.
There is a separate case pending on the same issue in California, the outcome of which could be more influential. There is a strong chance, however, that the OEMs will prevail in these cases on appeal.