A federal judge in Vermont on Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2007, has rejected automakers’ claims that new state emissions standards designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are pre-empted by federal law and that technology can’t be developed to meet them.
The standards require a 30% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from cars and trucks by 2016, which translates to an average fuel economy for cars and light trucks of nearly 44 miles per gallon. In the conclusion to his 240-page ruling, Judge William Sessions III, smacked the automakers upside their collective heads:
“History suggests that the ingenuity of the industry, once put in gear, responds admirably to most technological challenges. In light of the public statements of industry representatives, (the) history of compliance with previous technological challenges, and the state of the record, the court remains unconvinced automakers cannot meet the challenges of Vermont and California’s GHG regulations.”
In your face, Big Three! During the 16-day trial, NASA’s James Hansen was one of the expert witnesses. He sent out an e-mail today noting, “It was a special experience to see the team that made the case for Vermont, and a pleasure to see that they got their just desserts.”
As yet more evidence of Hansen’s position as a leading climate scientist, the judge relied heavily on the NASA scientist for his opinion. For those who want a good non-technical translation of Hansen’s argument, read pages 31-37 (excerpted below). There is also a fascinating explanation (pages 38-47) by the judge on why he rejects plaintiffs’ assertion that Hansen’s testimony is not reliable or relevant, in spite of the best effort of the plaintiffs’ rebuttal expert, famed denier Dr. John Christy — yes, it is utterly pathetic that the car companies would bring this guy as an expert witness to rebut Hansen; it really shows how little they care about the planet’s future. I will return to this explanation in the debunking of Lomborg.