Bill Lockyer and Gaseous Emissions

By October 11, 2006Global Warming

We haven’t commented on California’s ambitious attorney general Bill Lockyer’s excesses lately. Oversight or burnout?

Probably the latter. How many times can you point out ridiculous, anti-competitive nature of his global-warming-inspired lawsuit against auto manufacturers without repeating yourself? Really, suing auto manufacturers because their much-desired, purchased, consumed, legal products are…desired….purchased…consumed …AND LEGAL ….is the height of overreach.

Nevertheless, Bruce Fein does such a fine job of driving home the absurdum in the reductio, we can’t help but cite him:

Mr. Lockyer confined his suit to six auto manufacturers rather than lash out at the planet to give his litigation a politically attractive coloration. According to the complaint, the defendants’ vehicles account for but a fraction of annual carbon dioxide emissions in the United States and California.

Why didn’t he sue every source of carbon dioxide emissions, including coal-fired power plants? Why didn’t he sue vehicle drivers and electricity users? They know their driving and electricity use will create greenhouse gases, and thus lie at the core of Mr. Lockyer’s theory of liability. If he were principled rather than expedient, he would have named himself, the presiding federal judge, and President Bush as defendants for knowingly and intentionally contributing to global warming every time they drive a car or turn on a light.

Mr. Fein’s commentary evokes chuckles. Which, we suppose, should be regulated in a Lockyer regime.

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  • TokyoTom says:

    You and Bruce Fein sure miss alot. What’s so absurd about being selective when choosing whom to sue? If the suit isn’t simply thrown out, Lockyer can expect that the automakers themselves will try to bring in other defendants.

    Fein and you are correct that the suit faces horrific legal hurdles, hurdles that tell us that climate change is really an issue that should be handled best in Congress. Of course, if Congress is incapable of acting, where you think people will go, except to their state and city legislators and the courts.

    But isn’t this really about something else, namely an effort to use the auto manaufacturers as a level to move the logjam that is now in place in Congress? And isn’t the question whether US industry prefers to face a welter of conflicting local requirements, or a single set of national standards?

    Or are you simply in favor of abolishing state and local governments, and giving all power to the big, corrupt national government that we’ve got now? That might simply make it easier for the Abramoffs, Delay, Cunninghams and other politicos to milk manufacturers dry.