Sacbee in the Hot House

Sacbee in the Hot House
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Here’s a fairly new and much needed blog called the Hot House started up by Stuart Leavenworth at the Sacramento Bee.

Stuart will be covering the ins and outs of the State of California’s efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions. I hope that Leavenworth will be keeping an especially close eye on the lawsuit by the auto industry against the state of California that has effectively delayed action on vehicle greenhouse gas emissions for the better part of 5 years now.

For those readers not familiar with the case. Here’s a basic rundown:

2004 Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (AAM) and local California dealers file suit against the State of California to block new greenhouse gas emissions standards for new vehicles.

The AAM is an industry association comprised of all the big auto manufacturers including Toyota, Ford Motor Company, Mitsubishi and General Motors.

Here’s the original complaint. (pdf)

March 2005 – The environmental groups, NRDC, Sierra Club and Environmental Defense, file for intervenor status.

March 2005 – The Association of International Automobile Manufacturers (AIAM) applies for intervenor status. The AIAM represents pretty much every auto manufacturer that was not already represented by the AAM (with some overlapping membership).

January 2007 – Judge postpones trial pending the outcome of the US Supreme Court decision on whether the Environmental Protection Agency has the jurisdiction to regulate greenhouse gas under the EPA‘s mandate.

It is this question that lies at the heart of the Automakers versus the State of California. Under the original complaint filed, the Automakers claim the greenhouse gas is not considered a toxic substance and cannot therefore be subject to regulation. This is seen by many as the reason for the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s C02 is good for you” ad campaign in the Spring of 2006.

April 2007US Supreme Court rules that the EPA can regulate greenhouse gas.

Here’s the ruling.(pdf)

And this is where the lawsuit stands. The same thing is playing out in other states where similar legislation is being fought by the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, including the states of New York, Rhode Island, Oregon, Maine and Vermont.

Check out the Clean Cars Campaign’s site for all the original court documents. The site is organized by a host of NGO‘s interested in seeing this lawsuit defeated.

Sacbee in the Hot House

Kevin is a contributor and strategic adviser to DeSmogBlog.

He runs the digital marketing agency Spake Media House. Named a “Green Hero” by Rolling Stone Magazine and one of the “Top 50 Tweeters” on climate change and environment issues, Kevin has appeared in major news media outlets around the world for his work on digital campaigning.

Kevin has been involved in the public policy arena in both the United States and Canada for more than a decade. For five years he was the managing editor of DeSmogBlog.com. In this role, Kevin’s research into the “climate denial industry” and the right-wing think tank networks was featured in news media articles around the world. He is most well known for his ground-breaking research into David and Charles Koch’s massive financial investments in the Republican and tea party networks.

Kevin is the first person to be designated a “Certified Expert” on the political and community organizing platform NationBuilder.

Prior to DeSmogBlog, Kevin worked in various political and government roles. He was Senior Advisor to the Minister of State for Multiculturalism and a Special Assistant to the Minister of State for Asia Pacific, Foreign Affairs for the Government of Canada. Kevin also worked in various roles in the British Columbia provincial government in the Office of the Premier and the Ministry of Health.

In 2008 Kevin co-founded a groundbreaking new online election tool called Vote for Environment which was later nominated for a World Summit Award in recognition of the world’s best e-Content and innovative ICT applications.

Kevin moved to Washington, DC in 2010 where he worked for two years as the Director of Online Strategy for Greenpeace USA and has since returned to his hometown of Vancouver, Canada.

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