A group of car manufacturers has sued
the state of California in a challenge to the state’s emissions control laws.
In a statement issued Dec. 7, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers – a trade association of nine car and light truck manufacturers – said
the group would join a suit by auto dealers in the state’s Central Valley. The
suit challenges the greenhouse gas law, which calls for carmakers to increase
their products’ mileage in an attempt to lower emissions.
The group’s suit rests in part on the
principal that the federal government – not states – should have the right to
set a uniform, national fuel-economy standard. The alliance suggests that
trying to regulate carbon dioxide emissions is a back-door attempt by the state
to regulate fuel economy, since the best way to reduce emissions of that gas is
to cut the amount of fuel burned per mile.
“Carbon dioxide and fuel economy are synonymous,” the group wrote
in a news release. “In fact, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency measures
carbon dioxide to determine the fuel efficiency labels on new vehicles. But
Congress gave exclusive authority to NHTSA to set the maximum feasible fuel
The suit brought immediate criticism
from environmental groups, and from state officials in New York and California
who control the states’ pensions funds, which are major investors in some of
the companies that are part of the auto makers alliance, according to media
Controller Steve Westly told The Los Angeles Times he wants automakers
to explain why they “are choosing to pay more for lawyers to challenge the law
rather than investing in more engineers to build the cleaner cars the public
of Automobile Manufacturers includes
automakers BMW, DaimlerChrysler, Ford, General Motors, Mazda, Mitsubishi,
Porsche, Toyota and Volkswagen.