WASHINGTON (November 15, 2007) – Today, the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals rejected the Bush administration's weak fuel economy standard for sport-utility vehicles and other light-duty trucks. The court upbraided the administration for setting zero value on reducing the carbon dioxide emissions that cause global warming when setting fuel economy standards. The court also faulted the administration for leaving a gaping loophole that has allowed auto manufacturers to classify passenger cars as trucks subject to weaker fuel economy standards.
Statement from David Doniger, Policy Director of the Climate Center at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and an attorney on the case:
“This is another court rebuke to the Bush administration's policy of ignoring global warming. The federal government and the automobile industry should have embraced higher fuel economy standards years ago. The U.S. auto industry is having a tough time today because Detroit’s top management spent years hiding from the future. Well, the future is now. We have the technology to do this, and it's time we got started.
“Better fuel economy makes this country more secure, cuts dangerous global warming pollution, and saves consumers billions of dollars a year. With the price of oil creeping up to $100 a barrel we need more efficient cars and trucks.
"This ruling comes at a key moment in our efforts to avoid the worst impacts of global warming. The president has ordered the EPA to propose global warming standards by the end of the year, but White House officials are busy trying to water them down. The court's decision is a clear signal that it's time to set serious standards to cut global warming pollution.”