Auto-Emission Ruling Boosts States' Rights

Federal judge rules against carmakers on standards for greenhouse gases
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 13, 2007 11:50 AM CDT
A car gives off exhaust in Montpelier, Vt., Monday, March 2, 2007. Vermont is a big winner in two major environmental decisions handed down today by the U.S. Supreme Court. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Vermont can set its own greenhouse emissions standards to curb gases that contribute to global warming, a federal judge ruled yesterday in a decision that boosts states’ rights. Automakers sued the state after it adopted standards originally made law in California, saying the regulations were impractical and would upend the industry, the Times reports.

The judge said it was “improbable” that automakers couldn’t adapt and dismissed claims that Vermont usurped federal authority. One law professor called the ruling a “sweeping rejection” of automakers’ efforts to limit states’ rights on emission standards. California faces its own legal battle with the industry, but the Vermont ruling improves the Golden State’s chances of victory, analysts say. (Read more Vermont stories.)