Monday, January 26, 2009

Obama answers appeal for tighter fuel efficiency standards

President Obama will instruct the Environmental Protection Agency to reconsider its previous refusal to California’s waiver application as well as order the Transportation Department to issue guidelines to ensure that the nation’s auto fleet reaches a higher average fuel efficiency standard. California, along with thirteen other states, has applied for this waiver to the US federal emissions standard, in order to implement stricter regulations. In the past, California has won numerous waivers for controls on emissions that cause smog, as opposed to climate change, which is on the global agenda as well. Wanting to act swiftly, President Obama will order temporary regulations to be completed by March, so automakers have enough time to retool for the next set of vehicles sold. Daniel Weiss, director of climate strategy at the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank, commended President Obama’s actions by acknowledging that this “will reduce our oil dependence by speeding the production of the gas-sipping cars of the future.”

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