AP writer Samantha Young reported:
Handing a major defeat to the auto industry, U.S. District Court Judge Anthony Ishii ruled Wednesday that California can regulate greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles. . . .
Automakers sued the state over the tailpipe standards it approved in 2004, which would force automakers to build cars and light trucks that produce about 30 percent fewer greenhouse gases by 2016.
However, the state still needs a waiver from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to begin implementing the program. The EPA has not yet issued a decision, leading California and 14 other states to sue the agency in November seeking quicker action. . . .
In its lawsuit against the state, the Association of International Automobile Manufacturers argued that it was the federal government's responsibility to establish one uniform fuel economy standard. Without one, manufacturers would be forced to produce vehicles using too many different efficiency standards, raising the cost of cars and eliminating some model choices.
But Ishii rejected that claim, saying Congress gave California and the EPA the authority to regulate vehicle emissions, even if those rules are more strict than those imposed by the federal government.
This is a really big decision, I agree with the ruling, it will speed up the adoption of greater standards by all state, and might even cause the U.S. congress to take some tougher action. These standards will speed the adoption of plug-in hybrids and all electric vehicles.