Bush CAFE Standards Overturned on Appeal

This post is by Vickie Patton, Deputy General Counsel at Environmental Defense.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals just issued a 90-page opinion overturning major aspects of the Bush administration’s flawed fuel economy standards for light-duty trucks. Sean Donahue argued the case for Environmental Defense and Susan Fiering for the California Attorney General’s office – on behalf of a larger group of state and environmental petitioners.

Among other things, the court held that the Department of Transportation (DOT):

1. Failed to account for the value of reducing heat-trapping carbon dioxide emissions in setting the standards,

2. Failed to close the SUV loophole,

3. Failed to set fuel economy standards for all vehicles in the 8,500 to 10,000 pound gross vehicle weight class (for example, the Ford Excursion, the Hummer H2, and the F-250 pickup), and

4. Failed to carry out an adequate environmental assessment under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

The court ordered DOT to take corrective action immediately.

The opinion was by penned by Judge Betty Fletcher who was joined in her opinion by Judge Michael Daly Hawkins and Judge Siler. There was a very limited, narrow dissent by Judge Siler.

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One Comment

  1. DaniS
    Posted November 16, 2007 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

    This is great news. It is high time that the President gets put in check and realizes that CAFE standards and other environmental needs REAL change. The energy bill that still has a chance to be passed with more aggressive standards is under attack from auto lobbyist and other big businesses who would like to see the standards lowered in their own self interest. The coalition I’m working with has set up an easy to use petition so that concerned citizens can get their voice to Congress before the vote and show their support for the 35 mpg by 2020 fuel efficiency standard and other pertinent aspects of the bill. The petition is available here: http://www.energybill2007.org. I think America is beginning to realize that the time is now to set institute some real change and we need to let our representatives know.