By Daniel Zarchy

In another political two-punch combo to potential polluters, California Attorney General Jerry Brown announced that he would continue his predecessor’s crusade against auto companies just hours before the news broke from Paris that global warming was “very likely” caused by humans.

Edmund “Jerry” Brown Jr., former governor of California and newly inaugurated California attorney general, announced Thursday that he will continue suing the six major auto companies for damages incurred by vehicle emissions, a project initiated by Bill Lockyer, former attorney general and current state treasurer.

Brown, in a general letter to automakers, invited the CEOs of General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, and the American outlets of Toyota, Nissan, and Honda to a formal gathering “at any suitable time or location,” explaining that “with the current public, state, and Congressional focus on global warming and possible solutions, this is the right time for the state and the automakers to find cooperative approaches and resolve litigation in a constructive manner.”

Gareth Lacy, deputy director of communications for the California Department of Justice, explained that this move to continue the lawsuit was a necessary action to make the auto companies prepare for the future.

“We’re looking at a burgeoning population of six billion people. We’re looking at between a billion and two billion cars worldwide in the next 50 years,” Lacy said. “That’s astronomical. Every gallon of gas we burn is 19.8 pounds of carbon dioxide into our atmosphere and contributing to global warming.”

Tom Dresslar, communications director for Bill Lockyer, explained that they had faced trouble from auto companies in the past, and that the companies should be forced to pay for their actions.

“They’ve fought us in court on other air emissions cases. They fight against strong fuel economy standards,” Dresslar said. “They talk about us, the state, filing frivolous lawsuits. For one, [the case against the auto companies] is not a frivolous lawsuit; it’s well-founded and long-standing in common law that when you create a public nuisance you can be sued for the nuisance that you are creating. The emissions from their products are the largest single contributor to the public nuisance of global warming in the state.”

Chris Paine, writer and director of “Who Killed the Electric Car?,” a 2006 documentary that largely accused car manufacturers of deliberately and underhandedly eliminating demand for electric cars, feels that the government should stand up to the car companies.

“The industry complains about lawsuits, but they sued California on zero-emission vehicle standards, and they sued California on lots of other issues,” Paine said, “If they say that lawsuits don’t solve problems, why are they resorting to them? If Congress and the state had passed tougher regulations to begin with, and the car companies hadn’t worked so hard to stop them, we’d all be in a better place, including the carmakers.”

Dresslar agreed, saying, “They want to be able to sue our asses every time we do something to deal with global warming, but every time we try to hold them accountable, they whine.”