Automakers sue California over greenhouse-gas emission regs

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers filed suit against California on Tuesday, charging that the state’s new regulations on greenhouse-gas emissions from vehicles (requiring a roughly 30 percent cut by 2016) amount to the imposition of new fuel-economy standards, which is the feds’ purview. The Schwarzenegger administration has pledged to defend the regulations in court. Automakers predict that the regs will drive average vehicle prices in the state up by some $3,000, restrict consumer choice, and cause the sky to fall. To enviros’ chagrin, Toyota, a company actually selling fuel-efficient cars, joined the suit, which demonstrates the degree of opposition within the industry to state-level climate-change regulations. Of course, while the automakers are valiantly defending the feds’ turf when it comes to setting fuel-economy standards, they are also aggressively battling any federal efforts to boost such standards, so one might be forgiven for wondering just how much principle is involved here.