New York City hybrid taxi

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has fought long and hard to uphold a local law requiring all city cab companies to replace their gas-guzzling Ford Crown Victoria sedans with more efficient livery vehicles. A noble goal, no doubt, but the Supreme Court is having none of it.

The New York Post reports that the highest court in the land refused to hear the case after four years of battles in the lower courts, giving the victory to the Metropolitan Taxicab Board of Trade. The court ruled that federal agencies have the sole right to regulate emissions and efficiency, not the mayor of one town – even if it is the City That Never Sleeps.

When the Supreme Court swings its gavel, there usually isn't another shot, but that likely won't stop Mayor Bloomberg from lobbying Congress to change the rules. The mayor said that local governments are the ones dealing with climate change and energy policy, adding "the federal government seems unable to address those issues."

While the city of New York appears to have lost the efficiency war, the Big Apple can still feel good about the fact that some 4,400 of the 13,237 cabs on its streets are hybrids. And if gas prices continue to jump, we're thinking many of the other 8,000 cabs will follow suit.

[Source: New York Post | Image: Chris Hondros/Getty]