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California Sues Auto Industry


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MSNBC staff and news service reports

Updated: 4:06 p.m. ET Sept. 20, 2006

 

SAN FRANCISCO - California filed suit against the world's largest carmakers on Wednesday, charging that greenhouse gases from their vehicles have cost the state millions of dollars.

 

State Attorney General Bill Lockyer said 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.

 

Lockyer, a Democrat, said the complaint states that under federal and state common law the automakers have created a ?public nuisance? by producing ?millions of vehicles that collectively emit massive quantities of carbon dioxide.?

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Carbon dioxide emissions and other greenhouse gases have been linked to global warming.

 

Lockyer's office said that ?under the law, a ?public nuisance? is an unreasonable interference with a public right, or an action that interferes with or causes harm to life, health or property.?

 

?Global warming is causing significant harm to California?s environment, economy, agriculture and public health. The impacts are already costing millions of dollars and the price tag is increasing,? Lockyer said in a statement. ?Vehicle emissions are the single most rapidly growing source of the carbon emissions contributing to global warming, yet the federal government and automakers have refused to act. It is time to hold these companies responsible for their contribution to this crisis.?

 

Lockyer said he would seek "tens or hundreds of millions of dollars" from the automakers.

 

Automakers' reaction

The lawsuit names Ford, General Motors, Toyota and the North American units of DaimlerChrysler, Honda and Nissan.

 

The automakers responded to Lockyer?s lawsuit by issuing a statement saying they already are building cleaner and more fuel-efficient vehicles. The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers also cited a similar lawsuit brought against utilities that was dismissed previously by a federal court in New York.

 

The alliance did not respond to the substance of Lockyer?s lawsuit, saying manufacturers would need time to review the complaint.

 

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* Live Vote: Does lawsuit have legal merit?

 

Lockyer?s action comes 48 days before the November election. He is termed out of office this year and is running for state treasurer.

 

?This is the silly season of elections in the fall, and obviously he thinks this will gain him a few marginal votes,? said Sean McAlinden, an economist with the nonprofit Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Mich. ?I don?t think it means anything more than it says. It?s California politics.?

 

But activists welcomed the move.

 

"Industries responsible for the pollution that drives global warming should expect more suits like this until we have effective national legislation to stop global warming," David Doniger, a staffer with the Natural Resources Defense Council, said in a statement.

 

Earlier lawsuit

Carmakers earlier sued to block a 2005 California law that would require them to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from new vehicles. In that case, automakers argue that California is acting outside its jurisdiction because the only way they can meet the more stringent emission standards is to raise fuel efficiency. Setting fuel-efficiency standards is the exclusive responsibility of the federal government.

 

California and 11 other states are also involved in a lawsuit challenging the Bush administration's refusal to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. The Supreme Court is expected to hear that case during its upcoming term.

 

Last month, the state Legislature passed a landmark bill designed to regulate emissions of greenhouse gases from industries. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is expected to sign the measure into law by the end of the month.

Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

 

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14924286/

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WTF is wrong with that state?

 

 

 

WTF is wrong with the auto industry?

 

Every single company named in the suit complies with the FEDERAL standards, so where does this joke of a state get off suing them for complying with standards set by the US government? Blaming car companies for what people do with their vehicles is no different than blaming gun manufacturers for what people do with their guns. It is stupid liberal reasoning.

 

I am going to sue the State of California for defamation of character, seeing as though their retarded actions have sullied my reputation as an America. Since Californian's love taxes so much, perhaps we can levy a stupidity tax against them.

 

 

EDIT: After re-reading the articles and the details of the suit, not a single one of the car companies has even violated the strict emissions standards set by California, so WHAT THE HELL ARE THEY SUING ABOUT? California set the standards and the car companies followed them, now California is suing the auto industry - WTF? California should be named a coconspirator in their own law suit, if their emission standards were not good enough they have no one to blame but themselves.

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WTF is wrong with that state?

 

 

 

WTF is wrong with the auto industry?

 

Every single company named in the suit complies with the FEDERAL standards, so where does this joke of a state get off suing them for complying with standards set by the US government? Blaming car companies for what people do with their vehicles is no different than blaming gun manufacturers for what people do with their guns. It is stupid liberal reasoning.

 

I am going to sue the State of California for defamation of character, seeing as though their retarded actions have sullied my reputation as an America. Since Californian's love taxes so much, perhaps we can levy a stupidity tax against them.

 

 

EDIT: After re-reading the articles and the details of the suit, not a single one of the car companies has even violated the strict emissions standards set by California, so WHAT THE HELL ARE THEY SUING ABOUT? California set the standards and the car companies followed them, now California is suing the auto industry - WTF? California should be named a coconspirator in their own law suit, if their emission standards were not good enough they have no one to blame but themselves.

ok.

 

WTF is wrong with our federal emissions standards?

 

They should be at least 10 times more powerful than they are now, compared with where they were when we first created these standards.

 

Hooray lobbyists.

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WTF is wrong with that state?

 

 

 

WTF is wrong with the auto industry?

 

Every single company named in the suit complies with the FEDERAL standards, so where does this joke of a state get off suing them for complying with standards set by the US government? Blaming car companies for what people do with their vehicles is no different than blaming gun manufacturers for what people do with their guns. It is stupid liberal reasoning.

 

I am going to sue the State of California for defamation of character, seeing as though their retarded actions have sullied my reputation as an America. Since Californian's love taxes so much, perhaps we can levy a stupidity tax against them.

 

 

EDIT: After re-reading the articles and the details of the suit, not a single one of the car companies has even violated the strict emissions standards set by California, so WHAT THE HELL ARE THEY SUING ABOUT? California set the standards and the car companies followed them, now California is suing the auto industry - WTF? California should be named a coconspirator in their own law suit, if their emission standards were not good enough they have no one to blame but themselves.

ok.

 

WTF is wrong with our federal emissions standards?

 

They should be at least 10 times more powerful than they are now, compared with where they were when we first created these standards.

 

Hooray lobbyists.

Read the edit part of my post. All the companies named in the suit already comply with the strict CALIFORNIA emissions standards, they have violated nothing.

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WTF is wrong with that state?

 

 

 

WTF is wrong with the auto industry?

 

Every single company named in the suit complies with the FEDERAL standards, so where does this joke of a state get off suing them for complying with standards set by the US government? Blaming car companies for what people do with their vehicles is no different than blaming gun manufacturers for what people do with their guns. It is stupid liberal reasoning.

 

I am going to sue the State of California for defamation of character, seeing as though their retarded actions have sullied my reputation as an America. Since Californian's love taxes so much, perhaps we can levy a stupidity tax against them.

 

 

EDIT: After re-reading the articles and the details of the suit, not a single one of the car companies has even violated the strict emissions standards set by California, so WHAT THE HELL ARE THEY SUING ABOUT? California set the standards and the car companies followed them, now California is suing the auto industry - WTF? California should be named a coconspirator in their own law suit, if their emission standards were not good enough they have no one to blame but themselves.

ok.

 

WTF is wrong with our federal emissions standards?

 

They should be at least 10 times more powerful than they are now, compared with where they were when we first created these standards.

 

Hooray lobbyists.

Read the edit part of my post. All the companies named in the suit already comply with the strict CALIFORNIA emissions standards, they have violated nothing.

fine. why are the emmissions standards not anywhere close to where they should be?

 

hooray lobbyists.

 

heh, i answered my own question. cool!

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what the standards are is irrelevant to this - if they do not like the standards, then they should sue themselves for setting the bar so low - not the automakers for meeting their expectations

 

I think they are creating a public nuisance by being so litigious - it hurts any consumer that wants to buy insurance in the state along with increasing the cost of doing business

 

just a stupid lawsuit - must be an election year

 

what the standards are is irrelevant to this - if they do not like the standards, then they should sue themselves for setting the bar so low - not the automakers for meeting their expectations

 

I think they are creating a public nuisance by being so litigious - it hurts any consumer that wants to buy insurance in the state along with increasing the cost of doing business

 

just a stupid lawsuit - must be an election year

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what the standards are is irrelevant to this - if they do not like the standards, then they should sue themselves for setting the bar so low - not the automakers for meeting their expectations

 

I think they are creating a public nuisance by being so litigious - it hurts any consumer that wants to buy insurance in the state along with increasing the cost of doing business

 

just a stupid lawsuit - must be an election year

 

what the standards are is irrelevant to this - if they do not like the standards, then they should sue themselves for setting the bar so low - not the automakers for meeting their expectations

 

I think they are creating a public nuisance by being so litigious - it hurts any consumer that wants to buy insurance in the state along with increasing the cost of doing business

 

just a stupid lawsuit - must be an election year

 

 

 

I think it's more of a countersuit. The auto industry currently has a lawsuit filed against California for passing state emission standards lower than the federal levels.

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