• Sep 20, 2006
Long at the front of environmental efforts, and often ridiculed because of it, California filed a groundbreaking lawsuit against six major automakers today. The allegation is that these automakers have caused millions of dollars worth of spending by the state due to increased greenhouse gases resulting from running their automobiles. State Attorney General Bill Lockyer said the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Northern California is the first to seek damages based on vehicle emissions. Named in the suit are Ford Motor Co., General Motors Corp., Toyota Motor Corp., Chrysler Motors Corp., and the North American branches of Honda Motor Co. and Nissan Motor Co. Ltd.
California's regulations to limit greenhouse gases from vehicles through its California Air Resources Board (CARB) have often caused friction between the state and automakers. California, with an estimated 26 million vehicles on the road, often sets automotive and environmental trends because it accounts for 10% of national auto sales. Automakers frequently incorporate the more restrictive California requirements into the whole fleet rather than producing different versions of the same vehicle for California and other states that adopt its policies.

[Sources: Reuters, CARB]


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  • 69 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      Chivo:

      I'm a native Californian and I think tihs lawsuit is just plain dumb. We really are the land of fruits and nuts.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I envy people who live in Denial. Greenhouse gases cause illness to humans and to the planet. Automakers sell a product known to produce the gases. Consumers have few choices.

      A dying population and planet really do make the rest rather meaningless.

      Doubtless, a lawsuit won't resolve the matter, but it may be one positive step toward changing behavior of both suppliers and consumers.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I am very embarrassed to be a Californian. I would like to kick the attorney general out of the office. Let's see what kind of non-cars the attorney general drives. They better be not putting out any greenhouse gases. Sheesh!
      • 8 Years Ago
      Why stop with the automakers? Sue the people of California next for purchasing new vehicles!
      • 8 Years Ago
      But wait, you mean manufacturers other than GM make cars that pollute!? That's unpossible!
      • 8 Years Ago
      Toby, you are right. The thing is that we are still suffering the consequences 60 years later. Seriously, has anyone in here tried to drive a car around L.A.? It's worst than a nightmare, and the only way to fix the emmissions problems and traffic problems at once is by improving mass transit.
      • 8 Years Ago
      They should have not killed the electric car. This too won't last, it will be withdrawn but someone had a stupid idea to try to get some attention.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Robert O:

      CO2 is not sulfur dioxide. You are aware that increased CO2 concentrations are known to increase plant growth rates? We're not talking about sulfur dioxide or NOx, here. CO2 is a necessary trace gas. And as far as we know, there is no ideal concentration.

      The climate will change, humans or no humans. Another Ice Age isn't in our interests either. We must adapt, whatever way the climate goes.
      Greg A.
      • 8 Years Ago
      The Reuters item that this Autoblog entry has a link to is very brief. For what it's worth, here's an article on Yahoo! News that's much longer:

      http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060920/ts_nm/environment_autos_dc

      As I understand it, the state of California is suing on the grounds that the products these manufacturers sold caused damage (by emitting greenhouse gases that contributed to global warming) that the state was forced to pay to repair or ameliorate. On the face of it, this lawsuit sounds like a lot of other lawsuits over product liability.

      The item on Yahoo! News quotes a statement issued by the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers: "Automakers will need time to review this legal complaint, however, a similar nuisance suit that was brought by attorneys-general against utilities was dismissed by a federal court in New York."

      Later, the article states: "But Sean Hecht, executive director of the Environmental Law Center at the University of California, Los Angeles, said the lawsuit has a 'reasonable' chance of succeeding.

      "He also noted the judge in the New York lawsuit cited rarely-used legal doctrine in ruling that the question at issue was political rather than legal and should therefore be addressed by the legislature and not the court.

      "'I was surprised that the court in that case did that,' he said. 'I think it is a straight forward legal question. My impression is this is a very legitimate case to bring.'"
      • 8 Years Ago
      Here is a way for California to solve many of their problems.

      Come election time, VOTE out your dumb ass politicians!

      If your wacko's are truely in the govt as some have said, then vote them out.

      Its like having a hammer and continuing to hit yourself over the head. What do you do! Just stop the madness.

      I am not sure what is worse, the stupid politicians or the stupid california's that keep voting them in!
      • 8 Years Ago
      Here's a great post on this subject from the National Association of Manufacturers:

      http://blog.nam.org/archives/2006/09/grandstanding_a.php

      • 8 Years Ago
      I'm like the 700th poster here, so no one's going to read, except you #701. But I noticed a lot of posts calling for the state to sue X industry, Y corporation, Z person, because they also produce CO2. Guess what, you're all right! But sensible people don't sue, they TAX. It's time we ushered in the era of CO2 taxes based on the amount of CO2 you, your employer, your transportation produce. It's already started in Europe, and in 50 years, the population who are still living on dry land will no longer be taxed on income, because it will be pretty much worthless. The currency will be CO2 credits. There I said it! Shiiiiiit
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