Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Trucking In Fuel Economy Litigation

The same blue states are suing again. This time it is to force the Bush administration to raise fuel economy standards for sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and other light trucks (SUVs are classfied as light trucks). Actually, President Bush already raised fuel economy standards for light trucks from the current 21.6 miles per gallon to 24.1 mpg by 2011 in annual steps. We hate litigation at AAEA because it rarely leads to environmental improvements. We believe President Bush's tradable CAFE credits idea would be much more effective in improving fuel economy. The administration is also closing a loophole that provided an exemption for the largest SUVs like the Hummer H2 and others over 6,000 pounds.

Litigants believe the administration analysis did not adequately consider the benefits of Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) on the environment, gasoline consumption and global warming. California is the lead plaintiff. California passed a law in 2002 mandating reductions in carbon dioxide "emissions" beginning with model year 2009 for new cars and trucks sold in the state. It is the equivalent of a fuel economy program. Automakers filed a lawsuit to block California's new greenhouse gas regulation. The litigating states include: 1) California, 2) New York 3) Connecticut, 4) Main, 5) Massachusetts, 6) New Jersey, 7) New Mexico, 8) Oregon, 9) Rhode Island, 10) Vermont and the District of Columbia.

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