Washington Post June 27, 2006

High Court to Hear Greenhouse Gas Case
States, Groups Push for Regulation

The Supreme Court agreed yesterday to hear arguments on whether the federal government must regulate carbon dioxide as a pollutant, a case that could have broad implications for utilities, auto manufacturers and other industries across the country.

The decision to take up Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency -- a lawsuit that pits 12 states, 13 environmental groups, two cities and American Samoa against the federal government -- could break the political impasse that has stymied regulation by the United States on global warming for more than a decade.

The Orange County Register June 27, 2006

The global-warming war heats up
The Supreme Court will take on the issue of regulating greenhouse gases in lawsuit over carbon dioxide.

Q. What exactly is the Supreme Court going to decide?

A. A federal lawsuit entitled "Massachusetts v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency." In it, 12 states, including California, contend that the Clean Air Act requires regulation of carbon dioxide because it poses a danger to public health and welfare. The danger, they say, comes from climate change.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Bush administration contend carbon dioxide does not meet the definition of air pollution under the Clean Air Act.

A federal appeals court sided with the administration.

June 26, 2006 Bloomberg.com

U.S. Supreme Court to Consider Requiring Greenhouse Gas Rules

The group is seeking limits on four air pollutants:
carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide亜酸化窒素 and hydrofluorocarbons HFC. The justices will consider the case during their 2006-07 term, which starts in October.

In addition to Massachusetts, the states challenging the EPA's refusal to regulate are California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington. The environmental organizations included Environmental Defense, Greenpeace and the Sierra Club. The group also included New York City, Baltimore and Washington D.C.

The case is Massachusetts v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 05-1120.

September 20, 2006  New York Times

California Sues Carmakers

California sued six of the world's largest automakers over global warming on Wednesday, charging that greenhouse gases from their vehicles have caused billions of dollars in damages.

The lawsuit is the first of its kind to seek to hold manufacturers liable for the damages caused by their vehicles' emissions, state Attorney General Bill Lockyer said.

It comes less than a month after California lawmakers adopted the nation's first
global warming law mandating a cut in greenhouse gas emissions.

California has also targeted the auto industry with
first-in-the-nation rules adopted in 2004 requiring carmakers to force cuts in tailpipe emissions from cars and trucks.

The complaint, which an auto industry trade group called
a ''nuisance'' suit, names General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co., Toyota Motor Corp., the U.S. arm of Germany's DaimlerChrysler AG and the North American units of Japan's Honda Motor Co. and Nissan Motor Co. Ltd..

In the complaint, Lockyer charges that
vehicle emissions have contributed significantly to global warming and have harmed the resources, infrastructure and environmental health of the most populous state in the United States.

2007/9/17 AFP     2006/9/28 カリフォルニア州、温暖化問題で自動車メーカーを訴訟

Judge rejects California bid to sue carmakers over warming

A US court on Monday dismissed a lawsuit lodged by California officials demanding millions of dollars in damages from six automakers blamed for contributing to global warming.

A written ruling issued by a federal judge in the Northern District of California said it was not for courts to decide the extent to which car makers could be held accountable for producing harmful greenhouse gases.

"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," Judge Martin Jenkins wrote.







California's Vehicle Global Warning Law

August 31, 2006

California Enacts Nation's Toughest Global Warming Bill
Scientists and Economists Laid Groundwork for Legislation

The California Legislature today passed landmark legislation to create the nation's first economy-wide cap on global warming emissions, and Governor Schwarzenegger has agreed to sign the bill into law. The mounting scientific evidence gathered and produced by California's scientific community helped build the political will that led to this historic day.

Our Changing Climate: Assessing the Risks to California, the UC Berkeley study, the economists' letter, and a summary of the legislation can all be viewed at http://www.climatechoices.org

AB 32 was passed by the state legislature on August 31, 2006. Governor Schwarzenegger has indicated that he will sign the bill into law. AB 32 sets in place the nations most comprehensive, economy-wide global warming emissions reduction program.
AB 32 requires the state
s global warming emissions to be reduced to 1990 levels by 2020. This reduction will be accomplished through an enforceable statewide cap on global warming emissions that will be phased in starting in 2012.
In order to effectively implement the cap, AB 32 directs the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to develop appropriate regulations and establish a mandatory reporting system to track and monitor global warming emissions levels. CARB is also the agency that will enforce the new regulations.

Mandatory Emissions Reporting
By January 1, 2008, CARB must adopt regulations creating a statewide global warming emissions reporting and monitoring system. The largest emitters will be required to report their emissions on an annual basis.

Setting the Cap
Also by January 1, 2008, CARB must determine what the level of global warming emissions was in 1990.
That level will become the emissions cap that must be met by 2020.

The Details - A Plan for Making Real Reductions
By June 30, 2007, CARB must develop a list of early action measures to be adopted by January 1, 2010 that can reduce emissions in the short term.
By January 1, 2009, CARB must prepare a plan for how the 2020 cap can be met in the most cost-effective manner. This plan may include a recommendation for a
cap and tradesystem, in which carbon emissions creditsin the amount of the cap are distributed and carbon emitters may buy and sell these credits.
If a cap and trade system is developed, the system must be designed to prevent any increase in the emission of toxic or criteria air pollution.
CARB will hold a series of public workshops on the plan and give interested parties a chance to make comments.

Implementing Regulations
On or before January 1, 2011, CARB must officially put into place specific regulations to achieve the global warming emission reductions. These regulations must be in effect by the start of 2012.
The bill requires CARB to ensure that regulations to reduce global warming emissions meet several criteria.
The regulations must:
not disproportionately impact low-income communities;
complement, and not interfere with, efforts to achieve and maintain federal and state air quality standards and to reduce toxic air pollution emissions;
minimize leakage (where reductions in global warming emissions within California are offset by increases in emissions outside the state);
ensure that global warming emissions reductions are real, permanent, quantifiable, and verifiable, and enforceable by CARB; and
count only emissions reductions that are new - not those that would otherwise occur.

The regulations may also include setting declining annual emissions reduction targets, starting in 2012.

Emergency Provisions
The bill includes compromise language that states
in the event of extraordinary circumstances, catastrophic events, or threat of significant economic harm, the Governor may adjust the applicable deadlines for individual regulations, or for the state in the aggregate, to the earliest feasible date after that deadline. The adjustment period may not exceed one year unless the Governor makes an additional adjustment…”
The language could be more tightly worded to use the provision only in extreme conditions, but political accountability will make it hard for future Governors to abuse it.