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Court Rejects Federal SUV Fuel Standards

A U.S. federal appeals court Thursday threw out planned federal fuel economy standards for many sport-utility vehicles, minivans and pickup trucks.

The 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that the standards, which were to go into effect next year, didn't properly assess the risk to the environment and failed to include heavier SUVs and trucks, among several other deficiencies the court found.

The decision resulted from a lawsuit filed by 11 states and environmental groups that argued federal regulators ignored the effects of carbon dioxide emissions when calculating fuel economy standards for light trucks.

The new mileage standards, announced in March 2006, required an increase in the average fuel economy for all passenger trucks sold in the U.S. from 22.2 miles per gallon to 23.5 miles per gallon by 2010.

Filed last year, the suit sought to force the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to recalculate its mileage standards from scratch, with carbon dioxide emissions taken into account as a major factor in the agency's analysis.

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