Chamber, Car Dealers Contest California Tailpipe Emissions Rule

by | Sep 11, 2009

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autoemissionsThe U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Automobile Dealers Association have filed a petition with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to review the federal government’s decision to allow California to set its own auto emissions standard, reports Reuters.

In June, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) granted California a waiver that allows the state to regulate tailpipe emissions. The court action was filed against the EPA and its administrator, Lisa Jackson, reports the New York Times’ Wheels Blog. A “statement of issues to be raised” is due at the court by Oct. 13, according to the blog.

The two industry groups are concerned that the EPA’s decision will set a precedent for California to set stricter emission standards for different emitting sectors, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Frank O’Donnell, head of the environmental-advocacy group Clean Air Watch, told the Wall Street Journal that the lawsuit attempts to undermine states’ rights, and signals that there could be additional corporate efforts to block other greenhouse gas initiatives.

However, the court filing does not have the backing of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, which represents all three of the major American automakers, according to the Wheels blog. Auto manufacturers earlier this year agreed to not fight a national emissions standard the Obama administration wants to implement, reports the blog.

In May, the Obama administration established rules for a single national regulatory standard for fuel efficiency, which will also regulate tailpipe emissions, reports the blog. The national policy is expected to set fuel efficiency at 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016.

According to the blog, the lawsuit appears not to be targeted at blocking the national policy, but at preventing the precedent of allowing states to regulate greenhouse gases.

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