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Federal judge dismisses challenge to California emission standards

[JURIST] A US District Court judge Wednesday rejected [order, PDF] a lawsuit filed by automobile manufacturers [JURIST report] challenging California's authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles. Auto manufacturers, represented by the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers [advocacy website], argued that by regulating the emissions standards of automobiles, California would in effect be regulating fuel economy standards, which can only be regulated by the federal government. The California standards would require car manufacturers to cut emissions by 25 percent from cars and light trucks, and 18 percent from SUVs, starting with the 2009 model year. California's Air Resources Board [official website] adopted the greenhouse gas standards in 2004 [press release], but it cannot mandate them unless the EPA grants a waiver of the lighter Federal Clean Air Act (CAA) [text] standards. California is the only state permitted to seek a waiver under the CAA, but if granted, other states have the option of choosing between the federal standards and those of California. At least 11 states have indicated that they would follow the California standard. AFP has more. AP has additional coverage.

California filed a lawsuit [complaint, PDF; JURIST report] in November in the US District Court for the District of Columbia against the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) [official website] in an effort to force the EPA to come to a decision on whether California can impose greenhouse gas emissions standards on cars and light trucks. The EPA considered California's request for a waiver [JURIST report] of preemption for its greenhouse gas emission standards for new cars in May, but has not come to a decision.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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