A federal appeals court has rejected the Bush administration’s fuel-economy regulations for 2008-2011 model light trucks and SUVs. In the scathing tone that the Bushies are becoming quite familiar with, the judges declared that the regulations did not consider the economic impact of vehicle emissions’ contribution to climate change, and ordered the Transportation Department to come up with new, tougher standards. The court also asked for an explanation of why the agency considers light trucks and SUVs in a separate category from passenger cars, saying the distinction “overlooks the fact that many light trucks today are manufactured primarily for transporting passengers.” Enviros had petitioned the appeals court less than a month after the regulations were announced in March 2006; subsequently, 11 states joined the lawsuit. While we always love to see climatic injustice smacked down, this specific issue may become moot if Congress passes — and Bush OKs — an energy bill with tougher fuel-economy regulations.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.