Environmental News – California Sues Automakers

California sues automakers over greenhouse emissions

SAN FRANCISCO California said Wednesday that it was suing six of the worlds largest automakers, including General Motors and Toyota Motor, over global warming, charging that greenhouse gases from their vehicles have caused billions of dollars in damages.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Northern California, was the first of its kind to seek to hold manufacturers liable for the damages caused by their vehicles emissions, Bill Lockyer, the state attorney general, said.

The lawsuit also names Ford Motor, Chrysler Motors, which is the U.S. arm of DaimlerChrysler of Germany, and the North American units of Honda Motor and Nissan Motor of Japan.

The suit seeks damages related to pollution, beach erosion and reduced water supplies as a result of the past, ongoing and future contributions by the companies to global warming. It is the latest action by California to push businesses and the U.S. government to address the issue.

Bloomberg News, Reuters
Published
September 20, 2006

Background story –

December 7, 2004

Automakers Elect to Sue California Rather than Improve Emissions

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and the Association of International Automobile Manufacturers—representing all the major automakers – have filed suit against the people of California to block the state’s law to reduce global warming emissions from cars and trucks.

And they are not stopping in California. They have sued in Oregon, Vermont, Maine, and Rhode Island trying to block other states from following Californias lead and adopting similar global warming standards. Ten other states have so far adopted the California standard—amounting to a third of the national passenger vehicle market. (These states are – Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Oregon, and Washington.)

History

12-07-04 Automakers file suit against California‘s global warming regulations for vehicles.

2- 4-05 Honda and the Association of International Automobile Manufacturers join the suit against California‘s global warming regulations.

2-15-05 As the Kyoto Protocol enters into force, Japanese and U.S. environmental leaders call on Japan to rein in its automakers and ask them to drop out of the lawsuit against California.

9-15-06 First oral arguments in the lawsuit take place in federal court in Fresno, CA. California and six intervening environmental groups ask the judge to dismiss the case.

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