Nine states sue Bush administration about fuel efficiency

| 5/5/2006

A group of nine states has filed a lawsuit against the Bush administration, claiming the administration has been too lenient on fuel efficiency standards for cars and light trucks.

Reuters reported that the lawsuit specifically singles out the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, claiming that it failed to meet federal laws that require the administration to determine the impact of fuel economy regulation on the environment.

In March, the administration issued a rulemaking that required automakers to meet an average of 22.5 miles per gallon for their 2008 model year light trucks, SUVs and minivans. That number will increase to 23.1 miles per gallon for 2009 and 23.5 miles per gallon by 2010.

But the lawsuit – which was filed by the attorneys general of New York, California, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont – claims that the rulemaking also contains language that could create incentives to build larger, less fuel-efficient models, Reuters reported.