Our new President of the United States seems very bent on Greenifying all of us. This week, he’ll direct federal regulators to move quickly on an application by California and 13 other states to set strict automobile emission and fuel efficiency standards, according to administration officials.
This latest action makes good on an Obama campaign pledge and at the same time, reverses Bush administration policy. Granting California and the other states the right to regulate tailpipe emissions would be one of the most emphatic actions Mr. Obama could take to quickly put his stamp on environmental policy. He’s also removing his predecessor’s efforts which markedly expanded our carbon footprint.
The Bush administration rejected California’s previous application. EPA regulators are now expected to reverse that order after completing a formal review process.
Once they act, automobile manufacturers will quickly have to retool to begin producing and selling cars and trucks that get higher mileage than the national standard, and on a faster phase-in schedule. The auto companies have lobbied hard against the regulations and challenged them in court. Not surprisingly, environmental groups are thrilled.
“This is a complete reversal of President Bush’s policy of censoring or ignoring global warming science,” said Daniel J. Weiss, director of climate strategy at the Center for American Progress in Washington. “With the fuel economy measures and clean energy investments in the recovery package, President Obama has done more in one week to reduce oil dependence and global warming than George Bush did in eight years.”
In this week’s action, Mr. Obama will order temporary regulations to be put in place by March so automakers have enough time to retool for vehicles sold in 2011. Final standards for later years will be determined by a separate process.
The next part for you and I will be stepping up and buying these new vehicles in support of their stricter standards. The new standards don’t work until someone starts using them to Greenify.