Super Judge: Designs Cars by Night

By September 13, 2007Briefly Legal, Energy

There’s a revealing quote in today’s Washington Post business story about the U.S. judge in Vermont who ruled against a suit by automobile manufacturers and dealers, who were trying to block 11 states from adopting California’s unattainable regulations against auto emissions of C02. Judge William Sessions III told the companies that he didn’t buy they arguments about the technical difficulty and cost of adapting to Vermont’s demand that they reduce greenhouse gas emissions from cars by 30 percent by the year 2016.

In his ruling, Sessions wrote that he “remained unconvinced” about automakers’ claims that they could not make cars and trucks with cleaner emissions.

Sessions pointed out automakers’ “intensive efforts” in innovations including hybrid technology, clean diesel engines and alternative fuels such as ethanol, to increase fuel efficiency and reduce emissions. “History suggests that the ingenuity of the industry, once put in gear, responds admirably to most technological challenges,” he wrote.

That’s one smart judge, to have such well-grounded sense of the auto industry’s history, its technical capabilities, and individual car design.

Reminds us of nothing so much as the Union of Concerned Scientists [sic] who claimed it was easy to design an affordable vehicle to cut emissions by 40 percent with off-the-shelf technology. GM embarrassed them by introducing them to the real world of the marketplace, regulations and technology.

Still, seems like Sessions is being underused in his current federal judgeship. Step down, Your Honor, and apply your knowledge to designing the cars we need to save the economy, the environment, and all mankind.

Since you claim to know how …

UPDATE (1:20 p.m.) The Business and Media Institute says the reporting on this issue ignored the judge’s history of liberal rulings and reverses on appeal. Well, yes, and they also failed to mention his extensive expertise in design engineering.

Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • jerry brown says:

    The technology is already here to build cars to comply with the challenged emission standards.

    Why do you call it anti-business to demand that American companies live up to their potential? A major foreign car company will soon comply with the state rules. When they do, will the American companies ask for a bailout or some non-tariff barrier to protect them?

  • Don says:

    Though I find them mildly amusing, these polemic posts only make you look stupid. The judge clearly did not say that he knew how to build the cars; he said the industry does. And clearly, they do… or are there no cars for sale in California?

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