May 14, 2007: Source – San Francisco Examiner
The fight for greater fuel efficiency and reduced greenhouse gas emissions from cars and trucks has shifted to a struggle between states—trying to protect their environment—and the federal government, which has been reluctant to raise efficiency standards. On Monday, the battle heated up as lawyers from 11 states told a federal appeals court that the Bush administration failed to consider global warming when setting new gas mileage rules. The Assocaited Press reported the story:
The plaintiffs, led by California’s attorney general, told the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that federal regulators ignored the effects of carbon dioxide emissions when calculating fuel economy standards for light trucks and sport utility vehicles.
The new mileage standards, announced in March 2006, require an increase in the average fuel economy for all passenger trucks sold in the United States from 22.2 miles per gallon to 23.5 miles per gallon by 2010. Speaking outside the courthouse, Attorney General Jerry Brown called the increase "pathetic" and said it "has the hand of lobbying, not the mind of science."
Lawyers for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which sets the mileage standards, called the cost of greenhouse emissions from vehicles "unquantifiable" and said prioritizing their reduction went beyond the agency’s legal mandate.
The arguments came the same day as President Bush ordered federal agencies to find a way to begin regulating vehicle emissions by the time he leaves office. Environmental groups, which have long called for substantial increases in the government-mandated fuel standards, expressed skepticism that the administration would enact new standards without Congressional action, and dissatisfaction that Mr. Bush did not offer specifics.