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Automakers defend new fuel-economy rules

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Automakers defend new fuel-economy rules



WASHINGTON – Automakers jumped into court today to fight two legal challenges against new fuel economy rules, saying the standards setting a 34.1 miles-per-gallon target by 2016 were essential to their business.

Last month, two different coalitions – one of which included 14 Republican House lawmakers – challenged the new fuel economy rules in the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington.

While neither group has spelled out the grounds of its legal challenge, both generally oppose the Environmental Protection Agency’s use of the Clean Air Act to control carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

The Senate is set to vote on a resolution Thursday that would strip the EPA’s power to regulate greenhouse gases. The resolution would have to pass the House and be signed by President Barack Obama to have any effect.

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, the trade group that includes Detroit automakers, Toyota and six others, said in its filings that without the rules it would face a crazy-quilt of state standards based on California law that would be far harder to meet.

The rules “avoids conflicting standards from different regulatory agencies, and it gives automakers much-needed certainty for long-term product planning,” the AAM said.

The Association of International Automobile Manufacturers, which represents foreign automakers, has also asked to intervene, along with several environmental groups.



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