California vs. Automakers dropped – bickering continues, greenhouse gas emissions rise

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A federal judge has dismissed the lawsuit filed by the State of California against auto manufacturers. The suit claimed damages against automakers for the environmental damage being caused by excessive greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles. 

The judge concluded that the courts aren’t set up to deal with climate change and other “political questions” with international reach and that such a task belongs to Congress and the executive branch of the government. 

The automakers named in the lawsuit were General Motors, Toyota, Ford Motor, Honda Motor, Daimler Chrysler and Nissan.  According to the judge’s 24-page opinion (pdf), the six companies produce vehicles that emit over 289 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, which constitutes over 20% of human-generated carbon dioxide emissions in the United States.

In other words, our sky is a free waste dump for the car company’s product. It would be like a restaurant owner throwing all the left-over food into the street and not having to pay a fine for this behavior or picking up the tab for the clean up crew. 

The State of California has spent millions on studying, planning, monitoring and responding to the impacts of global warming already happening, yet the automakers do not have to spend a dime assisting the State with a problem their product played a huge role in creating.

Not only are the automakers not helping, they have been supporting another lawsuit against the State of California to to block stricter greenhouse gas emissions standards for new vehicles.

Forget PR spin and industry front groups to delay action, the automakers take the global warming “debate” to a whole other level. 

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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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