Federal Judge Anthony W. Ishii of California's Eastern District Court in Fresno, has just issued a 57-page ruling in the auto industry's preemption lawsuit against California's so-called Pavley law, which set the standard for efforts to limit greenhouse gas emissions from cars that are being pursued by 17 states.
According to Ishii's order, which hands yet another victory to the state and environmental groups, if the EPA grants California's waiver application this month, the state can begin enforcing its standards and other states can start following suit. More from the LA Times, and from Gristmill's David Roberts.
As always, you can check back later and tomorrow for more detailed analysis of the ruling and its implications as we read through it. For now though, we'd like to echo Gristmill in highlighting a passage from the ruling's conclusion that weighs in firmly on whether regulations from the EPA and states interfere with federal fuel economy rules (emphasis added):
Pursuant to the foregoing discussion, the court concludes that both EPA and California, through the waiver process of section 209, are equally empowered through the Clean Air Act to promulgate regulations that limit the emission of greenhouse gasses, principally carbon dioxide, from motor vehicles. The court further concludes that the promulgation of such regulations does not interfere or conflict with NHTSA's duty to set maximum feasible average mileage standards under EPCA. The court finds EPCA's preemption of state laws that regulate vehicle fuel efficiency does not expressly preempt California's effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through AB 1493. Because Congress intended there should be no conflict between EPA's duty to protect public health and welfare and NHTSA's duty to set fuel efficiency standards through EPCA, the doctrine of conflict preemption does not apply. To the extent the enforcement of California's AB 1493 Regulations may be inconsistent with existing CAFE standards, EPCA provides that NHTSA has authority to reformulate CAFE standards to harmonize with the AB 1493 Regulations if, and when, such standards are granted waiver of preemption by EPA.