Monday, March 19, 2007

Vermont paper fights car companies in big global warming case

While we in DC are preparing for the drama associated with former Vice President Al Gore’s appearance before Congress, there’s a different sort of battle over global warming taking place in Vermont. And this one has the interesting angle of pitting the Burlington Free Press against the major car companies. (See background stories, below.)

The car companies have gone to court to try to kill Vermont’s global warming standards for motor vehicles, which are patterned on California’s landmark standards. The trial is slated to begin later this week.

And, as part of the battle, the car companies have sought to close part of the proceedings because of alleged trade secrets and business practices. (You do have to wonder what the car companies are trying to hide. On the one hand, they advertise how innovative their cars are. On the other, they apparently are planning to argue in court that they can’t easily meet the Vermont standards.)

The Burlington Free Press is challenging the request for secrecy. There’s a hearing over this issue today.

There’s a little more background on the case here: http://www.calcleancars.org/legal/other_states.html

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