Friday, May 21, 2010

Obama Mandates Rules to Raise Fuel Standards

WASHINGTON — President Obama ordered the government on Friday to develop tougher fuel-efficiency standards for cars and trucks, advancing the fight against climate change without waiting for Congress.

Mr. Obama announced the creation of a national policy that will result in less greenhouse gas pollution from medium- and heavy-duty trucks for the first time, and will further reduce exhaust from cars and light-duty trucks beyond the requirements he had already put in place.

“Today’s announcement is an essential part of our energy strategy, but it’s not a substitute for other necessary steps,” Mr. Obama said in a Rose Garden ceremony on Friday, flanked by auto and truck manufacturers. He repeated his hope that Congress would pass an energy bill by the end of the year. “In the meantime,” he added, “I’m going to take every sensible, responsible action that I can take using my authority as president.”

Mr. Obama said that reducing fuel use would save money for businesses and consumers, and he linked his new policy to the enormous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. “The disaster in the gulf only underscores that, even as we pursue domestic reduction to reduce our reliance on imported oil, our long-term security depends on the development of alternative sources of fuel and new transportation technologies,” he said.

The executive memorandum the president signed on Friday orders the Environmental Protection Agency and the Transportation Department to develop new fuel and emissions standards more strict than those formalized last month, but the memorandum did not propose specific fuel-economy figures.

Under last month’s rules, new cars must get at least 35.5 miles to a gallon of fuel, on average, by 2016, in combined city and highway driving. The president’s new plan would order further improvements in fuel efficiency for cars and light trucks made in 2017 and beyond, and in medium and heavy trucks made in 2014 through 2018.

In addition, Mr. Obama’s directive orders more federal support for the development of new vehicles like advanced electric cars, and it instructs the Environmental Protection Agency to reduce emissions of other kinds of pollutants by motor vehicles, besides greenhouse gases.

Environmentalists hailed the move. “President Obama’s oil savings proposal will reduce our dependence on oil,” said Daniel J. Weiss, director of climate strategy at the Center for American Progress, a liberal research organization. “More efficient cars and trucks will help to protect families’ budgets as well as America’s shores.”

1 comment:

Ron Russell said...

To bad we can't run our cars on Obama's bullsh*t! That's what he is aiming for however!