Tuesday, September 18, 2007

A Blow for Environmental Groups

A California judge delivered a victory to automakers in a lawsuit brought by the State of California, according to an article in the New York Times (see below for excerpt.)
Suit Blaming Automakers Over Gases Is Dismissed
Published: September 18, 2007
The courts do not have the authority or the expertise to decide injury lawsuits concerning
global warming, a federal judge in San Francisco ruled yesterday in dismissing a suit brought by the State of California against six car companies.
The decision, by Judge Martin J. Jenkins, was welcome news for automakers, which had suffered a defeat last week in federal court in Vermont.
In last week’s decision, Judge William K. Sessions III endorsed Vermont’s regulations meant to reduce greenhouse gases emitted by cars and light trucks. More than a dozen states have similar regulations, and a lawsuit challenging such regulations in
California is pending.
In the case decided yesterday, California claimed that the six car companies produced vehicles that accounted for more than 20 percent of human-generated carbon dioxide emissions in the United States and more than 30 percent of those in California.
The suit claimed that the emissions were a public nuisance and sought billions of dollars in damages.
Judge Jenkins wrote that a resolving of the questions presented in the suit was not a proper task for the courts.
“The adjudication of plaintiff’s claim would require the court to balance the competing interests of reducing global warming emissions and the interests of advancing and preserving economic and industrial development,” Judge Jenkins wrote.
The two decisions are not necessarily at odds. They collectively suggest that states may address climate change through their legislatures and executive branches but not through the courts.
Given national and international debate on the issues, Judge Jenkins wrote, “the court finds that injecting itself into the global warming thicket at this juncture would require an initial policy determination of the type reserved for the political branches of government.”
Indeed, he continued, a decision from the court on awarding damages for increasing global warming could potentially undermine the choices of the political branches.
Interfaith Power and Light is a religious response to global warming with chapters in 22 states and Greater Washington, D.C. Find a link to your local chapter at http://www.theregenerationproject.org/State.htmShop for energy Saving Products at www.shopipl.org.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Global warming controversy take new picture when a writer say that temperature increase is actually a good thing as in the past sudden cool periods have killed twice as many people as warm spells. He accepted global warming issues is big but he said not our fault.