California’s Attorney General Bill Lockyer filed a lawsuit yesterday against the “Bix Six” automotive companies — General Motors, Toyota, Ford, Honda, Chrysler and Nissan — seeking monetary damages to compensate the state for harm caused by global warming. (Lockyer news release here.)
This is the grandest of grandstanding, combining personal preening, political overreach, shaky legal arguments, and an attempt to replace the policymaking role of the State Legislature and Congress with judicial fiat. Oh, and Lockyer is running for State Treasurer this fall.
The complaint asserts, “Human-induced global warming has, among other things, reduced California’s snow pack (a vital source of fresh water), caused an earlier melting of the snow pack, raised sea levels along California’s coastline, increased ozone pollution in urban areas, [and] increased the threat of wildfires.”
Black humor aside, this is a serious matter and serious Californians will reject Lockyer’s actions as disastrous to the state’s economic future. Auto manufacturers are constantly exploring sites for news plants, and you can bet they’re crossing California off their lists right now.
Lockyer reminds us of the kid who scuttles up behind a car, smashes a potato into the exhaust pipe, and then scurries away, delighted with himself. Yeah, you stop emissions that way, but the car just doesn’t run anymore.