The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

Appeals Court Ruling May Lead to Tighter Fuel Standards for Light Trucks

November 19, 2007

WASHINGTON, D.C. --- A federal court last Thursday ruled that the Bush administration must write tougher fuel economy standards for SUVs, minivans and pickup trucks in order to address greenhouse gas emissions. According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, the judges of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals took issue with a federal loophole that lets such vehicles get fewer miles per gallon than passenger cars. This was the third time this year that a federal court has ruled in favor of state governments and environmental groups challenging the Bush administration's fuel efficiency regulations. The lawsuit was filed by California, 10 other states and the cities of New York and Washington against the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The NHTSA is responsible for setting vehicle mileage requirements. The lawsuit argued that the new federal mpg standards announced in March 2006, which seek to raise average mileage for light trucks to 23.5 mpg by 2010, were far too lax. The change was called "trivial." Automakers are now required to achieve an average fuel economy of 22.2 mpg for these popular vehicles. The court ruled that the NHTSA set standards that were "arbitrary and capricious" because they failed to address the effect of greenhouse gas emissions on the environment and economy. The court also ruled that it was unfair to hold light trucks to less strict standards than passenger cars. The Bush administration said it is reviewing options and hasn't decided yet to appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court. If the appeals court decision isn't stayed, the U.S. Department of Transportation will be required to write new fuel economy rules, the Times reported. Meanwhile, Congress is addressing the mpg issue too, working to reconcile two energy bills. The Senate version would eliminate the so-called SUV loophole and raise mileage for all vehicles from an average of 25 mpg to 35 mpg by 2020.
Twitter Facebook Google+


Please note that comments may be moderated. 
Leave this field empty:

Fleet Incentives

Determine the actual cost of owning and running a vehicle in your fleet. Compare vehicles by class and model.

Sponsored by

Dodge is a vehicle brand of the Chrysler Group LLC. Dodge vehicles used in fleets include the Dodge Caravan, Challenger, Dakota, Durango, and Sprinter, among others.

Read more

Fuel Saving Strategies Survey

View our 2008 survey to benchmark your fleet's fuel and green strategies with other fleets.

Fuel Calculator

A managed fuel program can help you save time and money and gain control over the way you fuel your vehicles. Determine your potential savings by using our fuel calculator.
Launch Fuel Calculator 

Fuel Prices

U.S. Gasoline and Diesel Fuel Prices.

Launch Fuel Prices 

Up Next

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher