A Closer Look at Green Mountain Chrysler v. Crombie
37 Pages Posted: 28 Sep 2013 Last revised: 23 Jan 2014
Hailed as a “major victory for states’ efforts to combat global warming,” Green Mountain Chrysler Plymouth Dodge Jeep v. Crombie was the first case in the nation to rule on an alleged conflict between federal fuel economy laws and a set of greenhouse gas (GHG) emission standards for new motor vehicles. Chief Judge William K. Sessions III of the U.S. District Court for the District of Vermont found no conflict between the Energy Policy and Conservation Act and Clean Air Act emission standards that have been adopted by states throughout the country. Interestingly, until Chief Judge Sessions issued his 240-page landmark decision, Green Mountain went largely unnoticed, especially as compared to parallel litigation underway in California. This Article takes a closer look at the Green Mountain case. It first briefly reviews the provisions of the two federal statutes principally at issue: the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA)5 and the Clean Air Act (CAA). Next, it describes the background of the case, including the GHG emissions standards7 and the claims set forth by the automobile industry. The Article then details the various pre-trial motions and concludes by analyzing the court' decision on the pivotal issue of EPCA preemption.
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