Major Victory on California Global Warming Law

Major Victory on California Global Warming Law

For Immediate Release

For more information contact:
Nick Berning, 202-222-0748
Danielle Fugere, 415-577-5594

Judge clears way for CA law limiting vehicle greenhouse gas emissions to take effect as soon as EPA waiver is granted

FRESNO—A federal district court judge in California today dismissed automakers’ legal challenge to a California law limiting global warming pollution from cars.

“This is a major victory in the fight against global warming,” said Danielle Fugere of Friends of the Earth, one of the defendant-intervenors in the case. “Judge Ishii has held that automakers’ objections to this law are without merit and that California has the right under the Clean Air Act to protect the health and welfare of its citizens from the dire effects of global warming. We hope that automakers will finally fire their lawyers and start producing cars that dramatically reduce greenhouse gas pollution, including cars such as the 100 mpg plug-in hybrid.”

The California law at issue in this case was written and sponsored by Bluewater Network (now part of Friends of the Earth) and was carried by then-Assemblywoman Fran Pavley. The law was enacted in 2002.

Friends of the Earth Board Member Russell Long, who helped draft the bill’s original language, said, “Thanks to Fran Pavley and many others, California is leading the way in the fight against global warming. This ruling affirms that we’re on the right path. Automakers have done everything they could to avoid conforming to these requirements, but we are finally nearing the day when they will be required to reduce vehicle greenhouse gas emissions.”

The only remaining obstacle to the law’s implementation is the need for California to acquire a waiver from the EPA. The EPA has been slow in responding to the waiver request. Friends of the Earth activists have sent more than 10,000 messages on this subject to the EPA and the White House, and Friends of the Earth and other groups are using the legal process to force the EPA to take action.

“Now that the legal objections to this law have been rejected, it’s time for the Bush administration to get out of the way and provide California the waiver it needs to begin implementing this law,” Fugere said.

Today’s ruling can be found at /pavley/12.12.07_Pavley_Ruling.pdf.