Vermont Ruling Paves Way for Clean Car Standards
Photo by Steve Erwin
In a major victory for the Sierra Club and its allies, on September 12 a federal district court judge in Vermont ruled against foot-dragging automakers in favor of the Club, the states of Vermont and New York, and other environmental groups working to curb global warming emissions. Over the strenuous objections of the auto industry, Judge William Sessions ruled emphatically that New York and Vermont may proceed with enacting the California Clean Car (Pavley) Standards, pending EPA approval. Automakers have repeatedly sued to block states from adopting the standards, which call for increasing the fuel economy of vehicles by 25 percent starting in 2009—significantly more than current federal standards mandate. Already adopted by California and 11 other states, the Pavley Standards will reduce carbon dioxide emissions from cars by 30 percent when fully implemented in 2016.
"This decision should put the nail in the coffin of the failed arguments of the auto industry," said David Bookbinder, the Club's Chief Climate Counsel. "They used every tired argument about safety, job losses, lack of technology, and doubts about the science of global warming—the same things they have been saying to the public and to Congress for decades. Instead of thinking of excuses, it's time for them to put their immense know-how toward solving some of our most pressing problems." Read the decision, learn more about what the Sierra Club is doing to promote clean car solutions, and sign the Club's petition telling Congress to increase fuel economy standards.