January 26th, 2009
07:15 AM ET
11 months ago

Pres. Obama to put his stamp on environmental policy

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Obama will announce Monday new renewable energy directives - including an executive order which allows California and 13 other states to set their own auto emissions and fuel efficiency standards beyond what is called for by federal law, a senior administration official told CNN.

The states can regulate their own auto emissions in their states by requiring automakers to produce trucks and cars that get better mileage than what is required of the national standard, the senior administration official said.

Obama will do this by directing the Environmental Protection Agency to grant a waiver for the states, which was denied under former President Bush, to allow them to set their own standards for emissions.

Automakers agreed with Bush and vehemently opposed the waivers, saying creating another set of rules regarding pollution standards for some states would be confusing and unenforceable.

Obama will also call for:
- automakers to increase their fuel efficiency standards nationwide;
- make government buildings more fuel efficient;
- and, find new ways for federal agencies to save energy.

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Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (49 Responses)
  1. Economy

    No more economy priority one, but environment and... abortion (?) That is what we get from a socialist party, big spending, and less freedom.

    January 26, 2009 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  2. Billy

    Ah...how refreshing, a forward-thinking president.

    January 26, 2009 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  3. The lonely Libertarian of Liverpool

    You think cars were expensive before, wow wait for the impact of this policy. I'm sure my New York State leadership can find a way to increase taxes using this policy. Just add it onto the new "Fat" tax. After all people who weigh more than normal, get lower gas mileage.

    January 26, 2009 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  4. Ray Fisher

    No doubt these actions are warranted and hopefully coordinated with the DOE. Throughout our history it seems the departments of government acted independently yet are basically intertwined in a common goal. In this case by addressing auto emissions it must be a combined effort between the EPA, DOT, DOE, NOAA and state departments of environmental management. In addition to regulating auto emissions a concerted effort to streamline these agencies to reduce redundancy should also be considered. It is my hope that with our current economic calamity we would seriously consider a complete restructuring of our government as any company would undertake as part of filing Chapter 7 bancruptcy restructuring and if America is not bancrupt, I hate to see what is!!!

    January 26, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  5. Mike, Syracuse NY

    We already allow states to set fuel standards and the result is a bunch of different standards that make for inefficient production and higher prices. I'm all for higher national standards, but a standard should be, you know, STANDARD!. Besides, if you buy a car n a state with lower standards and move to a state with higher standards, do you have to get a new car? This is an enforcement nightmare, but I'm sure obama has more stupid ideas coming.

    January 26, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  6. John

    FINALLY, something worthwhile from Washington

    January 26, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  7. linda from South Dakota

    its about time someone cares enough to change the fuel efficency in autos,, withthe gas prices up again, we need this . in time this will pay off in savings and enviormental reasons

    January 26, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  8. marlies

    a man on a mission ....

    January 26, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  9. Mike G

    I'm no energy expert but I live in Washington DC and see too many empty government buildings at night with all the lights on and I wonder how many federal buildings all across America are doing the same thing. We turn off the lights at home, why can't we turn them off at work as well?

    January 26, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  10. GaVoter

    Guess I won't be buying one of those expensive cars made in California..

    January 26, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  11. Steve in Crete

    This is what happens when you let the government into the auto business. Car manufacuturers will bear an enormous expense making 15 models of the same car so that it can meet emmission standards in every state. As an added bonus, the refineries already have trouble keeping up with the different blends that are demanded throughout the country, allowing the states to add even more government standards will simply push gas prices higher while refineries try to keep up. This will become another failed liberal policy that was well intentioned but ultimately a failure. Judge us not on results but judge us only on our intent.

    January 26, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  12. IsaacTheForcedCatholic

    A good step to stop the war on Terror, Global Warming!

    January 26, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  13. Bob in Pa

    This means everyone else will have to live by Calif. standards. Way to go BO, bankrupt the rest of us !

    January 26, 2009 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  14. Mick in Mesa

    This is a real "Atta Boy" for Pres. Obama!
    Allowing the states to jump start these things on their own will eventually force congress to do what they need to do put don't have the statesmanship, national interest or political backbone to do on their own...

    January 26, 2009 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  15. Erica DeCuir

    I applaud President Obama's efforts to lessen our dependency on foreign oil through investment of alternative energy sources. It's time to get Americans working again, through American ingenuity, resources, production, and distribution. When will conservative ideologues and big business understand? If we outsource all the jobs for the consumer, how will consumers afford to buy the goods and services that garner profit for businesses?

    January 26, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  16. Slider

    Yet another example of why government has absolutely no business outside of "governing".

    Let's make cars that cost more to make; to sell; to upkeep, and to insure. Let's saddle our automakers with cars that no self-respecting American would ever want to buy.

    Let's all have government choose for us what we can make, and sell, and buy, right lefties?

    You idiots.

    January 26, 2009 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  17. Carmelle

    All I want to say to the ne-sayers : We have to make tough choices and sacrifices, it's going to cost everybody something no matter how you look at it. So please stop thinking about yourself and let's do something about this. You can't have it both ways.

    January 26, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  18. Ray Fisher

    President Obama enounciated his position very well with just two words "I Won!!!". It wasn't intended to be a boast but a simple affirmation of the mandate from the American people. There is no need nor desire for the political battles of yesteryear since the survival of the nation is at stake not simply some political agenda. People are hurting, some starving, homeless, destitute, sick or without hope. This is just the beginning and will intensify daily as our nation sinks into the abyss. America must rally around our President and support his plans regardless of petty differences of opinion. He is not looking for a rubber stamp as Senator McCain says but a consensus of opinion that America needs help to survive not political grandstanding by obstructionists. The words lead, follow or get out of the way were never more appropos than now. We require no full contact politics only full cooperation and teamwork!!!

    January 26, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  19. Alice

    The economy is going down the tubes with more layoffs announced today, and Obama is worried about fuel efficiency, abortions for foeigners, and the terrorists held in Gitmo!

    Boy, are we in trouble......!

    January 26, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  20. Fred the moderate

    And auto manufacturers think this is a bad thing? Aren't these the same guys that have come before us with hat in hand for our money. They produced a bad product – which lacked style, effecency and durability. They need someone to push them to the next level ! Stop crying and listen for a change corporate. You might learn how to survive !!

    January 26, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  21. Steve (the real one)

    In these 14 states, vehicle prices will go up, quality will go down!

    January 26, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  22. Independent Dave, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

    Excellent! In your face neocons!

    January 26, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  23. Alan

    OK United Auto Workers where are you?? You spent millions to get him elected and he is wasting no time in trying to put you out of business. It should have been a hint when he lied to you about NAFTA.

    January 26, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  24. mark hesling

    Good! More needs to be done though to stop Global Warming. The auto industry can't complain, coming cap in hand, making these stupid big useless cars.

    January 26, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
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