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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Another long one but thought this was pretty crazy to me.

Deb



California Sues Over Vehicle Emissions

The state wants carmakers to pay for damage caused by greenhouse gases.
By Marc Lifsher, Times Staff Writer
September 21, 2006


SACRAMENTO — The state of California sued the country's largest automobile manufacturers Wednesday, seeking billions of dollars for environmental damage caused by tailpipe emissions.

It was the state's latest effort to combat the effects of greenhouse gases, which trap heat in the atmosphere and cause global warming. The lawsuit drew praise and criticism for Atty. Gen. Bill Lockyer, who filed it on behalf of the state.

ADVERTISEMENT"We think that today's decision is more about politics than global warming," said Gary Toebben, chief executive of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce. "It seems like a very political decision on the part of the attorney general." Automakers said the complaint had no legal merit.

Environmentalists praised Lockyer for going after cars, one of the biggest sources of greenhouse gas pollution. It's "another sign that we've entered a new era in tackling global warming," said Jason Barbose of Environment California, an activist group.

There was also guarded praise from a member of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's cabinet. "We applaud any effort to defend California's right to clean our air," California Environmental Protection Agency Secretary Linda Adams said.

The federal lawsuit contends that the greenhouses gases, mostly carbon dioxide, emitted from cars is a public nuisance and that automakers should pay for damages to the state's environment and public works.

"Basically, what we are saying is it's old-fashioned economics. You should pay for the damage you cause," Lockyer said in an interview. He noted that "the automobile industry manufactures products that are the largest growing source of carbon emission in the state and country."

Lockyer, whose term ends in December, is running for state treasurer in November as a Democrat.

The complaint seeks unspecified damages of potentially billions of dollars for current and future damage to the state's water supplies, coastline, forests, wildlife and public health.

If successful, Lockyer said, the suit could generate funds to protect the Sierra snowpack and repair the canals and reservoirs that bring water to Los Angeles from Northern California.

It could also be used to bolster flood control projects and repair coastal erosion, he added.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Oakland, names General Motors Corp., Toyota Motor North America Inc., Ford Motor Co., Honda North America Inc. Chrysler Group and Nissan North America Inc. as defendants.

In filing a nuisance lawsuit, the state is taking a somewhat new approach. It is not contending the automakers have broken any environmental laws, only that their conduct has resulted in severe damage for which they should pay.

Legal experts had mixed views about the lawsuit's viability. Sean Hecht, a UCLA environmental law expert, called the approach "not unreasonable" under precedents that go back to English common law.

"It's novel, but based on standard nuisance law, they certainly have a shot at convincing a judge that the burdens this industry imposes on society are too great," Hecht said.

But USC tort law expert Greg Keating wondered whether Lockyer was trying to advance an untenable argument that automakers collectively are creating a nuisance by selling cars that emit carbon dioxide. "I doubt it has legs," he said.

Gloria Bergquist, a spokeswoman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, said, "Using nuisance suits to address global warming would involve the courts in deciding political questions beyond their jurisdiction. This opens the door to lawsuits targeting any activity that uses fossil fuel for energy." The alliance represents the Big Three U.S. automakers and Toyota.

The lawsuit is the latest in a series of efforts by Schwarzenegger, Lockyer, other elected officials and the Legislature to fight climate change by curbing emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

Last month the governor and Democratic leaders of the Legislature negotiated a deal that produced AB 32, a pioneering bill that sought to cut greenhouse gas emissions 25% by 2020.

The bill, which Schwarzenegger has pledged to sign this month, would make California the first state to cap the amount of carbon dioxide released by refineries, power plants and other heavy industries.

The measure also relies on a 2002 California law that limits car tailpipe emissions to meet about a third of its ambitious greenhouse gas reduction goal.

Automakers are suing the state, contending that it cannot legally enforce the law requiring that they install controls on emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from cars sold in California.

ADVERTISEMENTCar companies argue that only the federal government has the authority to pass a law regulating emissions from cars.

The alliance's Bergquist stressed that newer cars are "99% cleaner than a generation ago" and that most models are available with fuel-efficient technology.

Honda spokesman Jeffrey Smith said that his company was a leader in developing vehicles with greater fuel economy and lower emissions, and that Honda wanted the federal government to deal with global warming by raising fuel economy standards.

The attorney general's lawsuit Wednesday is one of about half a dozen legal battles he's fighting in federal court over the global warming issue. California and other states have sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, arguing that the Bush administration is not enforcing the U.S. Clean Air Act when it comes to greenhouse gases.

Lockyer also is suing the federal government, alleging it fails to enforce fuel-efficiency mileage standards for sport utility vehicles and light trucks. California and other states are appealing a U.S. District Court judge's negative ruling on a nuisance suit against electric power plant operators.

"Global warming is causing significant harm to California's environment, economy, agriculture and public health," Lockyer said. "The impacts are already costing millions of dollars, and the price tag is increasing."
 

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Friggin idiots. If they're so against car emissions, they should have outlawed gasoline vehicles. They are just trying to come up with cash to line their pockets and spend on other projects.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I was thinking if it's been so bad all these years they should of walked. You can bet every one of them has a car, probably some big ol SUV or something like that.
 

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It won't go anywhere....ha it says the goverment wants people to pay for the damage they have caused well what about all the damage the goverment has caused to the enviroment. There would / should be a huge class action lawsuit against the goverment.

how about dumping nuclear waiste directly into sf bay? that damaged the enviroment. I could go on and on but its late.....
 

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The wonder about Government is how easily they discard, forget and forgive anything "they" do. Politicians see no need to harbor ill feelings or apologize over any exposure of an "inconvenient truth". The common theme is deny, deny, deny, deny – then when that no longer works…admit, investigate then after a few years of massaging the reports – find no one was actually at fault. It was just an accident of compounding errors. It’ll never happen again! (until the next time).

I would not put too much faith in common sense being a deterrent. It took several tries to get seat belt laws enacted, same with class action law suits against tobacco, same with emissions from bakeries, Rib joints, machine shop hot vats, Plating shops - its amazing what you can do with law suits, when you are using public money against a people trying to fight back out of their profits or life savings.

The Public trust has a near inexhaustible source of money when it comes to prosecution or enacting legislation. It can only be contained, corralled by concentrated public awareness. You have to be prepared to fight it, beat it back every time it comes up…if you don’t sooner or later the politicians will find a way to hide it in some way that disguises what they are really doing.
 

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Man, with actions like that, is it any wonder why the rest of the country at times hates California that much more?
I feel sorry for the hot rodders out there that get chastized for stupid stuff such as this.
I am all for less pollution, but come on, wth does this guy get off?
 

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Its because the bay bridge project is the most colossal waste of tax payer dollars EVER in history!!!!! Its put California so far in the hole that they resort to these kind of tactics....
 

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Its a liberal state, and they now realize that they must try to get back all that money that former governor Gray Davis wasted by the billions.
So they look for the money in the name of the environment.
To be 'politically correct' is to be a complete moron.
These lawyers and members of the "Sierra Club" are prime examples.
 

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Funny, I really liked the way this thread was going! A lot of self restraint and coming together behind defending the struggling american car industry against another power grab attempt by a corrupt system of politicians ... of both parties.
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<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: beoweolf on 9/23/06 10:05pm ]</font>
 

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The easy way to end this would be to sue those filing the lawsuit for continuing to use motor vehicles even though they "know" they are harmful. Just find a lawyer to file a class action lawsuit against the state of california. Need evidence? Just take in phots of cars with the state seal on the door...
 

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On 2006-09-23 09:03, Luv70sFords wrote:
The easy way to end this would be to sue those filing the lawsuit for continuing to use motor vehicles even though they "know" they are harmful. Just find a lawyer to file a class action lawsuit against the state of california. Need evidence? Just take in phots of cars with the state seal on the door...
BINGO! ... If they (the politicians) don't like the solution
... then don't add to the problem.


, ....



What I'm wondering is ... once they drive Ford and GM out of business (or out of the country). Who are they going to whine to when they want to add another "Whiz bang - gee gaw" or Tax to cars? Corporate headquarters in Japan, Seoul, Bejing,...? Maybe they'll just do a Microsoft and send "crippled" cars to the US. Want 100 mpg cars? Sure, great - we can do that! What color to you want that "Yugo" in?
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Of all the rest..."There are three faithful friends, an old wife, an old dog, and ready money..."-- Benjamin Franklin, 1738 --

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Beoweolf on 9/24/06 2:18am ]</font>
 
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