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Central Valley Chrysler-Jeep, Inc. v. Goldstene

ELR Citation: 38 ELR 20150
Nos. No. CV F 04-6663, (E.D. Cal., 06/24/2008) Motion to modify injunction denied

A district court denied the automobile industry's motion to modify the scope of an injunction prohibiting California or any of its political subdivisions from enforcing the state's vehicle-related greenhouse gas (GHG) regulations if and when a waiver of federal preemption under the Clean Air Act is granted. In March, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) issued an executive order requiring automobile manufacturers to comply with the GHG regulations within 45 days should the injunction cease to be in effect. At present, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has not granted a waiver of federal preemption. Nor has Congress passed any legislation that would allow California to implement the provisions. CARB, therefore, is in no more or less of a position to enforce its regulations now than it was at the time the injunction was filed. CARB's executive order changes absolutely nothing. While EPA's refusal to grant California its request waiver of federal preemption is an event of sorts in California’s effort to enforce its regulations, it does not represent a change of circumstances that would compel reexamination of the injunction. The auto industry also failed to show how issues of equity are implicated here. Environmental regulation is a constantly evolving part of the normal business landscape, and the industry provided no basis for the notion that courts should insulate businesses from the consequences of business decisions that are related to pending environmental regulation.

[A prior decision in this litigation can be found at 37 ELR 20309.]