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California: Federal Judge Delays Trial on Car Emissions

From The San Francisco Chronicle| January 18,2007
A federal judge has postponed an automakers' lawsuit challenging a California law to limit tailpipe emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. U.S. District Judge Anthony Ishii stayed the lawsuit until the U.S. Supreme Court rules on a different case that should determine whether the federal Clean Air Act regulates carbon dioxide. The high court is expected to make a decision this summer. Honda, Toyota, Nissan and other foreign car companies have argued that the state lacks the authority to require cuts in tailpipe emissions. The companies argue that reducing carbon dioxide improves a car's gasoline mileage, so the regulatory authority lies solely with the federal Department of Transportation, which oversees vehicles' fuel economy. In the case before the Supreme Court, Massachusetts vs. EPA , the plaintiffs argue that the federal Clean Air Act covers global warming pollution. California and 10 other states have joined the lawsuit. If the court agrees with the states both the federal EPA and California could regulate these emissions.

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