Global Warming Lawsuit Against Car Companies Dismissed

By | September 16, 2007

A landmark decision concerning car companies and global warming was handed down by a federal judge in California on Monday. Yet, most people are likely not going to hear about it, because the ruling goes counter to the media’s agenda.

As reported by the Associated Press (emphasis added throughout): "District Judge Martin Jenkins in San Francisco handed California Attorney General Jerry Brown’s environmental crusade a stinging rebuke when he ruled that it [sic] impossible to determine to what extent automakers are responsible for global-warming damages in California."

How delicious. But, there was much more about this decision the press will likely keep from people outside of California:

"The court is left without guidance in determining what is an unreasonable contribution to the sum of carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere, or in determining who should bear the costs associated with global climate change that admittedly result from multiple sources around the globe," Jenkins write.

The judge also ruled that keeping the lawsuit alive would threaten the country’s foreign policy position.


"President George W. Bush opposes the protocol because it exempts developing nations who are major emitters, fails to address two major pollutants, and would have a negative economic impact on the United States," Jenkins wrote in his 24-page decision. To rule in favor of California would undermine the administration’s position, Jenkins said.

Jenkins said it’s up to lawmakers, rather than judges, to determine how responsible automakers are for global warming problems.

Jenkins ruled that a court "injecting itself into the global warming thicket at this juncture would require an initial policy determination of the type reserved for the political branches of government."

As you might imagine, this is a huge loss to the leftwing in this nation always hoping to legislate from the bench.

Maybe more importantly, as what happens in California very often sets the trend for the rest of the nation, this decision has far-reaching implications for global warming lawsuits around the country.

I guess that explains why media will likely bury this ruling.

For those interested in reading the judge’s entire opinion, please go here.

*****Update: Myron Ebell of the Competitive Enterprise Institute cautions that there are many lawsuits out there against the automakers, and that just recently, a federal judge in Vermont ruled against them. Please read more here. Thanks, Myron.

—Noel Sheppard is an economist, business owner, and Associate Editor of NewsBusters.

Source: Newsbusters