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Central Valley Chrysler-Jeep, Inc. v. Witherspoon

ELR Citation: 37 ELR 20023
Nos. No. 04-6663, (E.D. Cal., 01/16/2007)

A district court stayed an automobile industry lawsuit over California's greenhouse gas rules for cars pending the outcome of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Massachusetts v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 415 F.3d 50, 35 ELR 20148 (D.C. Cir. 2005), cert. granted, 126 S. Ct. 2960 (2006), which concerns EPA's authority to regulate vehicle-generated carbon dioxide. The plaintiffs—automobile dealers and an association—argued that the regulations were preempted by Clean Air Act (CAA) §209, by the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA), and under the foreign policy of the United States and the foreign affairs powers of the federal government. But their CAA claims are moot because the court previously ruled that the new regulations could not be enforced until they are granted a waiver from EPA. Further, the plaintiffs' exposure to potential inequity or hardship if injunctive relief on their EPCA and foreign policy claims are delayed for six months is negligible and not sufficient to warrant the court moving forward in these proceedings without the benefit of whatever simplification of the issues the Supreme Court's decision in Massachusetts may afford.