[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.
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.