California Injunction Blues
By Bill Moore
The injunction concludes. . .
"From the record before it that plaintiffs have demonstrated a strong likelihood of success on the merits of their claim that the AT PZEV option set forth in the 2001 ZEV amendments is completely preempted by the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 and that plaintiffs will suffer irreparable injury if the requested preliminary injunction is not granted because of the very substantial costs of compliance with the 2001 ZEV mandate."
So, where does this leave California's ZEV mandate?
CARB cannot enforce the 2001 amendments as they apply to model years 2003 and 2004, "pending final resolution of this litigation."
CARB spokeswoman, Gennet Paaurve, told EV World that the Air Resource Board has three options. It can appeal the decision. It can redraft the amendments. Or it can do nothing.
Doing nothing would, in CARB's view, mean that the more stringent 1998 amendment rules now apply. Carmakers and dealers will probably not see it that way.
So, one is left wondering who really won and who really lost by the issuing of this injunction. It could be argued that both parties shot themselves in the foot. CARB's efforts to be flexible in its enforcement of the ZEV mandate only resulted in creating a potentially fatal flaw that carmakers exploited.
But by preventing the implementation of the revised rules, carmakers may now find themselves having to meet the original 10 percent ZEV quota without the benefit of any previously accrued credits.
One thing is certain, the real losers here are the citizens of California, the state with the worst air quality in the United States. A law intended to improve the quality of their lives and their health finds itself the victim of a legal system that seems more concerned about the nuances of the law than on its intent.
List of Plaintiffs:
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