January 26th, 2009
07:15 AM ET
6 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. Dan, TX

    You mean he's getting the federal government out of people's lives and letting the people in the States decide what they want? I always knew Obama is a Libertarian at heart!

    Obama understands republican philosophy better than the republicans.

    January 26, 2009 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  2. Lori

    I love this new President. Finally we have a President that respects and cares about the environment and our childrens future.

    January 26, 2009 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  3. No Money

    Finaly somebody in the white house who cares about the future of my kids and grandkids.

    January 26, 2009 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  4. ran

    A national standard would work better.

    January 26, 2009 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  5. BB

    Already beat him to the punch – bought a Camry Hybrid when they first came out. Wonderful car, fantastic gas cost savings.

    January 26, 2009 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  6. Kelly

    This gives a whole new meaning to 'a breath of fresh air.' Thank you, President Obama, for wrenching our collective heads out of the sand and starting us on the path towards responsible energy consumption. I realize this isn't going to be easy for anyone, but our grandchildren and their grandchildren will thank us for it.

    Week One = A+

    Keep up the great work, President Obama!

    January 26, 2009 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  7. Independent in DC

    Time for the automakers to step up to the plate.

    January 26, 2009 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  8. Chipster

    Bush claimed he would base decisions on scientific information. Then he rejected any scientific report that was contrary to the interests of logging, oil drilling, mining....pretty much anything that made a buck. His administration waived any restrictions on polluting industries that might interfere with their millions of dollars in bonuses, redecorating, and "business" meetings at spa resorts.

    Environmental recovery will take a long time but at least the priorities have changed dramatically. That's at least a good start.

    January 26, 2009 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  9. Mickie

    Regulations need to be set for environmental concerns. I recently put up solar energy and I can't understand why people are resisting this. It was not exhorbitant to put up and there are no monthly costs for its use. All new buildings (residential as well as commercial) should be required to use solar energy. I could see where this may not work in Alaska where they have 6 months of darkness, but even wind power would be good there. Stop supermarkets from using plastic bags. These two things alone would vastly improve the environment.

    January 26, 2009 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  10. Dont blame me

    Obama is an IDIOT.

    All this is going to do is toartificially RAISE the COST of selling a car, just like how gasoline prices are artificially inflated by having 18 different flavors of the same gasoline around the country due to their various EPA standards.

    Now you have artificail shoratges in gasoline at times, thus driving up the price of gas, because refineries have to make all of these different flavors of gasoline to keep different areas of the country supplied.

    And the same will happen with CARS, it is SIMPLE logic.

    Get ready America, Bend Over and Grab Your Ankles, the government is about to do it to you again!!!

    January 26, 2009 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  11. John

    You think car prices are high right now? They are about to go up even more. Thanks Mr. Obama!

    January 26, 2009 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  12. wasabe kid

    OK, Conservatives. Here is your chance to stand up for local control. If the states wish to impose a local standard that exceeds the federal standard, will you support the concept of "local control?" Or do you believe that state governments must obey the federal government, and that only one national standard – set by the federal government – is acceptable?

    January 26, 2009 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  13. New Day

    So far, so good.

    January 26, 2009 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  14. RealityKing

    Does this SAVE jobs too? And what exact is the new progressive term for SAVING jobs!?? Because apparently, it ain't working....

    Home Depot cutting 7,000 jobs
    Sprint job cuts to total 8,000
    Caterpillar to cut 20,000 workers

    January 26, 2009 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  15. Freed_From_W

    There is no excuse to not having 300mpg vehicles... if those vehicles need to use gasoline at all. We have the technology to create and maintain electric vehicles that do not produce any harmful emissions, but the oil companies have far too much money to let that happen.

    Also, there is no such thing as "Clean Coal".

    Our energy infrastructure needs to immediately incorporate tidal, wind-derived, and solar energy. Going further than that, those could all be replaced by using geothermal energy. The Earth contains some 2000zj (zetajoules) of energy – the human race using only .5zj of energy per year; that means 4000 years of clean energy.

    January 26, 2009 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  16. Reconciliation of Accountability

    This is long overdue.

    I was advocating that Bush raise CAFE requirements since he got into office 8 YEARS AGO but he was a puppet of the oil industry and refused. I wish someone would calculate how many of our 5,000 soldiers died in Iraq due to George's foot dragging on this issue.

    1.) Fuel economy directly relates to oil imports.

    2.) Oil Imports directly relate to our foriegn policy in the Middle East.

    3.) Our foriegn policy in the Middle East directly relates to our troops being at war.

    How many American sons & daughters need not have died? For this reason, accolades about Bush as Commander-in-Chief .... keeping America safe .... are misplaced!

    January 26, 2009 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  17. Steel Curtain

    Change has come to America. It's called Disaster.

    January 26, 2009 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  18. New Day

    You know what I don't get? When Bush won by 2 points, in 2004 and claimed he had a mandate, all my Republican friends agreed and shouted that BS from the mountaintops. Well if 2 points is a mandate, what does the 7 point Obama win mean? Divine edict?

    It's still 4 years until the next election. Can't you guys wait until he messes up first?

    January 26, 2009 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  19. jason, tx

    you GOBAMA!

    January 26, 2009 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  20. Scott Tucson

    Obama will also call for: 'Make government buildings more fuel efficient'. He can do that by eleminate unneccessary govt agencies. Starting with Homeland security than the IRS.

    January 26, 2009 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  21. John

    I agree with President Obama on several of these terms. We need to find alternative energy sources, but we cannot force people to buy these new technologies. People cannot afford to buy some of these new technologies such as: Hybrid cars. If he imposes a higher tax on these people who do not switch to Hybrid cars, he would only put them in a worse position economically.

    January 26, 2009 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  22. John

    nice CHANGE! :) 'bout time!

    January 26, 2009 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  23. Mari

    After years of living in denial that indeed Global Warming is a .... FACT. We thankfully now have a president who is taking steps to help our planet heal, or at least not go further into the abyss of catastrophy!

    January 26, 2009 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  24. karen-Phoenix

    YEA!!! Good job!!! And a great beginning!!! The republican had better get on board!! They just seem to be NASTY! I WAS a republican for over 40 years and now I know why I voted and donated to Obama!!! Republicans ONLY want to help the very rich and themselves and be "grumpy old men"!!

    January 26, 2009 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  25. Liz

    Obama is showing just how little common sense he actually has. Twenty-five different sets of emissions standards is really going to help the auto industry get back on their feet. Smooth move, Obama!

    January 26, 2009 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
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