Feds sued over fuel standards
Ten states and D.C. call new benchmarks a 'sham and a gift to the auto industry.'
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - Ten states, along with the District of Columbia, have filed a lawsuit against the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, calling the new fuel efficiency standards a "sham," the attorney general for Connecticut said Tuesday.
The suit, filed in the Ninth District Court of Appeals in San Francisco, charges the federal agency with broadening its definition of a "light truck" in an effort to include more fuel efficient vehicles, such as vans and SUVs, meaning that real fuel efficiency standards would not be impacted, according to Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal's office.
"The supposed upgrade in fuel economy standards is a complete sham and a gift to the auto industry," Blumenthal said in a statement as part of his state's participation in the lawsuit. "At a time of soaring gas prices and rising concern about global warming, these so-called efficiency standards mock consumers, common sense and Congress."
A call to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) by CNNMoney.com was not immediately returned.
The states in the suit also contend that the new standard would prevent them from regulating carbon dioxide emissions, Blumenthal's office said.
In March, the new NHTSA said it would raise fuel economy standards from 22 miles per gallon to 24 miles per gallon for sport utility vehicles, pickups and vans between the years 2008 and 2011.
Just last week President Bush called for legislation to raise fuel-efficiency standards in passenger cars in response to rising oil and gasoline prices.
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