Fuel Economy Standards

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- A federal appeals court in San Francisco has thrown out new fuel economy standards for many SUVs, minivans and pickup trucks.

The court ruled that the Bush administration failed to address why the vehicles -- classified as "light trucks" -- should be considered differently than cars.

The standards require passenger cars to get 27.5 miles per gallon by 2010, while the light trucks need to get 23.5 miles per gallon.

The distinction between cars and light trucks came about decades ago when most trucks were used for commercial purposes. Judge Betty Fletcher wrote that the government's argument for lower standard "overlooks the fact" that many light trucks are made primarily for carrying passengers.

The three-judge panel also ruled that the standards didn't properly assess the risk to the environment and failed to include heavier trucks.