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Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

California Sues Automakers

Air Date: Week of

The state of California is suing the world’s six largest automakers. The lawsuit charges greenhouse gas emissions from cars are responsible for high healthcare costs, pollution, wildfires, and beach erosion.


GELLERMAN: Well, the state of California is not content with just having the toughest greenhouse gas emissions limits in the country. Now it’s playing hardball. The state is suing the six largest automakers in the world.

ALEX: We believe we can establish that the harms are occurring in California from global warming and that they are occurring now

GELLERMAN: That’s California Deputy Attorney General Ken Alex. His office charges the state spends millions of dollars as a result of damage from global warming, in increased health care costs, wildfires, beach erosion and pollution. He says a lot of it is due to the greenhouse gas emissions spewed by cars. Vehicles emit thirty percent of the carbon dioxide in California and the state’s lawsuit says the automakers should be the ones footing the bill. But deputy AG Ken Alex says the real goal of the lawsuit is to get the car companies to build cleaner cars.

ALEX: To be honest we hope the next iteration of the automobile is a global warming fighter and the automobile industry is part of the solution to the problem. I think that would be the best possible outcome here.

GELLERMAN: The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers have called California’s lawsuit, “a nuisance.”



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