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Court Challenge to Oregon Emissions Regulations
An Oregon court will determine whether the governor can ignore the legislature and impose California emission standards.

Gov. Ted KulongoskiAn Oregon judge heard opening arguments Monday in a battle between the state's legislature and the governor over emissions standards. The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and state Senator Ted Ferrioli (R) launched the case accusing Governor Ted Kulongoski (D) of abusing his authority when he used a line-item veto to delete a provision prohibiting the state's Department of Environmental Quality from working on adoption of California emissions standards. Unless the court intervenes, Oregon will move forward and adopt California's tougher tailpipe regulations.

"The Governor is acting like a dictator, subjecting our motorists to a policy created for Southern California not for Oregon," said state Representative Gordon Anderson (R), Chairman of the House Environment Committee. "We're headed down a road to impose standards written in California that won't give us cleaner air but will create costly consequences -- expensive lawsuit by the automakers, sticker shock on new cars and a blow to the local economy."

The new regulations could be adopted as soon as December 22 and would take effect in the 2009 model year. California standards have reduced the choices available to consumers recently. The Audi TT, for instance, is not available to states that have adopted California standards this year.