January 26th, 2009
11:35 AM ET
8 years ago

Obama to let states set auto emission rules

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/01/26/obama.emissions/art.traffic.gi.jpg caption="California and 13 other states would be permitted to set their emission standards under President Obama's plan."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Obama signed a memorandum Monday requiring the Environmental Protection Agency to reconsider an application by California to set more stringent auto emissions and fuel efficiency standards than required by federal law.

Watch: 'America is ready to lead' on energy, the president says

If the EPA grants a waiver allowing California to set its own emissions standards, the nation's largest state will be allowed to require automakers to produce trucks and cars that get better mileage than what is required under the current national standard.

Thirteen other states could take similar action.

"It will be the policy of my administration to reverse our dependence on foreign oil," Obama said.

Increasing fuel efficiency, he said, is a key step in preventing the United States "from being held hostage" to hostile regimes and the threat of global warming.

Full story

Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (170 Responses)
  1. John

    In the 1960's Los Angeles had the worst air quality in the country. Then after 30 years of Cal/EPA and SC AQMD enforcement, LA had the best air quality of any major metropolitan city in the world in the mid 90's. Now after Bush's "Clear Skies" iniative which sounds good but basically prohibited California from regulating it's own environment, Los Angeles again has the worst air quality in the country. It not only affects my neighbors here, but it also blows up to Fresno, Sacramento, & Yosemite (almost 400 miles away)
    Until Bush, states always had the right to regulate their own areas as long as they are as strict or more strict than the federal standard.
    Hoooray !!!! for States Rights! It's about time.

    January 26, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  2. David in Vacaville

    Any true conservative worth their salt has no problem with this states-rights initiative...or would they prefer the so-called "Republican" predecessor's plan which had Big Daddy Government setting the standards (in cooperation with the Big 3). New standards of manufacture mean new manufacturing jobs, kiddies. Smart plan.

    January 26, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  3. Billy

    Don't most conservatives want more power at the state level and less at the federal level? So how is this policy change something they have a right to complain about?

    You can't have your cake and eat it too.

    The only reason why bush was agasint a policy that should have fallen underneath his ideaology in the first place was to protect his good 'ol boy big oil buddies from facing reality for a few more years so they could take as much wealth from the working man as they possibly could.

    January 26, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  4. bk

    So does this mean that the state with the most fuel effeicnt standard dictates what the rest of us can expect from the auto industry?

    January 26, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  5. David in Vacaville

    Any true conservative worth their salt would have no problem with this states'-rights initiative. Or maybe they prefer the so-called "Republican" predecessor's plan which had Big Daddy Government setting the standard (in collusion with the Big 3, of course). Smart plan.

    January 26, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  6. President


    January 26, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  7. Soccer Nana

    @ Obama the elite,

    If it were not for the hate kool aid drinkers, Obama would not need the limo he is forced to use for his own protection.

    By the way, the President is indeed very smart. The Nobel Prize winner in his cabinet is the genius and I believe he knows what he is advising the President on.

    January 26, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  8. Mickie

    Well, I lived in CA (both LA and SD) and considering how hard it is to breathe the air, and how crappy their pubilc transit systems are, I hope this means their pollution emissions will be more strict. If they get any more lax, you won't even be able to see either city. It's a shame because SD used to be so pretty in the 60's, but with the unbridled growth, plus the smog encroaching from both LA and Mexico, they don't stand a chance.

    January 26, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  9. Kevin - Albany, NY

    That's what I like to hear!

    January 26, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  10. Marion

    Interesting how Republicans are all for "states' rights" and no federal regulation when it benefits their pet interests, yet when letting the states handle these matters makes life more difficult for those interests, they want the federal government to set a national standard.

    January 26, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  11. it's about time

    Finally! A president who cares about the future of our planet!

    To Darko at 2:30pm and other naysayers:

    Actually, this is a very stark reality, and it clearly is at the top of Obama's list.

    This is not a liberal vs. conservative issue. This is simply dealing with the facts, and the facts state that we have to change the way we do things. Think beyond yourselves to your children and their children and the world they will inherit.

    January 26, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  12. Liz

    Twenty-five different emissions standards??? Real bright! That's really going the help the American auto industry get back on it's feet. Smooth move, Obama! Get real!

    January 26, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  13. elbon

    It's like a brand new day in America!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 26, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  14. Big Al

    Get a grip folks. Obama just "back doored" the California standards on the US.

    And we wonder why the big three are bankrupt!

    January 26, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |

    President Obama cares about the environment. Good for him! May our childrens' children thank him.

    January 26, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  16. Nik

    It would be a poor business decision to make specific models for specific markets. The reality is that the automotive industry needs to adhere to the highest standards set by the most stringent state and sell those designs to all 50. I don't understand why an industry would be reluctant to modify its failing business model. Honestly it is a sad world where improvement is looked at as a bad decision.

    January 26, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  17. JoePub

    If this is what they call "PROGRESSIVE", and if they do this in other PROGRESSIVE countries then maybe you should pack your bags. thanks but I'll stick with common sense and a much favored uniform approach.

    January 26, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  18. deb in Colo

    @Bill – "Great now the Big 3 will have to make cars and trucks differently for each state."

    No, they only have to live up to the most stringent law. If they had any vision they would already be out producing the more gas efficient foreign models.

    I'm all for holding their feet to the fire and MAKING them produce something worthwhile for a change.

    January 26, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  19. fournier, charles

    After sending report after report to gmc and chrysler to the fact that if they would spend a small amount to start purchasing the parts to make all of there auto's forced inducted with either a turbo or a blower type superchargers. the europeans do it on a large amount of there cars and we must admit the vast majority of there autos are much better engineered than ours for long lasting vehicles. by supercharging all of there vehicles they could raise all cars mpg by at least 7.5 miles per gallon and thats without puting in better pistons so they could run the engines hotter and inturn get a higher mpg they just want to make the most money they can and not spend anything more than they have to no matter who suffers.

    January 26, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  20. Aghhh

    It is such a lie that the automakers would have to have multiple cars – they would sell the one with highest standards. If they want sell various grades – good luck to them. Sheesh they haven't learned anything.

    February 18, 2009 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7