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Union of Concerned Scientists: Court Upholds CA Tailpipe Law

September 12, 2007
2:50 PM

CONTACT:  Union of Concerned Scientists
Lisa Nurnberger, 202-331-6959

Court Upholds CA Tailpipe Law
Federal Court Rules Automakers Have Technology To Make Cleaner Cars; Upholds State Tailpipe Standard Curbing Global Warming Pollution
Statement by Michelle Robinson, Union of Concerned Scientists

CALIFORNIA - September 12 -A federal judge in Vermont today ruled that states can regulate vehicle global warming pollution, rejecting U.S. automakers claims that they don't have the technology to meet the new standards and that they are pre-empted by federal law.

The judge, William K. Sessions, reviewed analysis by Union of Concerned Scientists when making his deliberations. Earlier this year, UCS unveiled a vehicle design, dubbed the Vanguard, which would exceed the state standard by cutting global warming pollution by more than 40 percent using conventional, off-the-shelf technology. (For more information, go to:

Below is a statement by Michelle Robinson, director of the Clean Vehicles Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

"This stunning ruling will be seen as a turning point in the fight to protect Americans from the worst consequences of global warming. Today, Judge Sessions affirmed what we at the Union of Concerned Scientists have been saying for years: Automakers have the technology today to meet this global warming pollution standard in a cost-effective way. Vermont and 11 other states have been leading the way by adopting this standard that originated in California, and now the federal government should adopt a standard that is at least as stringent.

"Meanwhile, the Environmental Protection Agency now has no excuse to stand in the way of state implementation. If the agency granted the necessary waiver, the dozen states that have adopted the standard would be able to cut as a much as 100 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions in 2020."

Formed in 1969, the Union of Concerned Scientists is the leading science-based nonprofit organization working for a healthy environment and a safer world. UCS has offices in Cambridge, Massachusetts; Berkeley, California; and Washington, D.C. For more information, go to


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