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Summary:

On Monday, President Barack Obama is expected to direct the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to quickly start work on granting California a long-contested waiver that will allow it to enforce stricter automobile-emission standards, The New York Times reported Sunday. (Update: Obama signed the executive order Monday […]

On Monday, President Barack Obama is expected to direct the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to quickly start work on granting California a long-contested waiver that will allow it to enforce stricter automobile-emission standards, The New York Times reported Sunday. (Update: Obama signed the executive order Monday morning.)

The move would effectively reverse a 2007 decision denying the waiver, and it would allow the Golden State – and 13 other states hoping to adopt the same standards – to force automakers to produce higher-mileage, lower-emission vehicles than are required by the federal standard.

Mary Nichols, who chairs the state’s Air Resources Board, last week said that the board had asked the EPA to reconsider its previous decision and predicted that the new administration would reverse the decision by late May.

The anticipated reversal is the latest twist in a battle that began in 2002, when California passed a law to cut vehicle emissions 30 percent by 2016. The federal Clean Air Act allows the state to set its own standards – although it needs a waiver from the agency – and allows other states to choose whether to follow the national standards or California’s.

Carmakers have aggressively opposed California’s efforts, arguing that a waiver would allow the state to set fuel-economy standards, which only the federal government is allowed to set, and increase costs. After a volley of lawsuits back and forth between the two sides, the EPA finally ruled on the waiver in December of 2007 – and denied it, leading to another lawsuit from California and other states.

In related news, Obama also is expected Monday to announce plans for stricter nationwide fuel-efficiency standards that former President George Bush enacted in 2007, but failed to implement before leaving office, as well as to direct federal departments and agencies to make government buildings more energy efficient, according to The New York Times.

  1. As an auto veteran I think we need one national rule on fuel economy, emissions and safety standards. MNost car companies already make their vehicles to meet the stricter standards of Cal. as this addresses the economies of mass production. Allowing the states to mandate individual policies is a waste of money for the car companies and the states to police.
    mycarlady.com

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  2. [...] January 28th, 2009 at 12:00 am in Biofuels California’s stricter air emission standards just got a nod from a friend in the White House, but are California residents clamoring for more stations where [...]

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  3. An important move, especially in conjunction with enabling the Department of Transportation to enforce improved mileage standards; 40% by 2020. Now consider the study just published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. According to author Susan Solomon in an NPR interview, “Turning off the carbon dioxide emissions won’t stop global warming . . . Climate change is essentially irreversible.” That gives us more reason to act now.

    http://tomwitkin.wordpress.com/2009/01/27/cleaner-cars-too-late/

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  4. http://everythingcars.wordpress.com/2009/01/27/national-auto-…ns-rule-needednational-auto-emissions-rule-needed/
    Let’s keep the pressure on our Congress-persons and Senators to maintain a universal emissions policy that all automanufactures uphold and staes agree to honor. This will minimize the nonsense and governance and get the environment headed in the right CO2 direction.

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  5. [...] government is already looking closely at California’s emissions policies. President Obama recently directed the Environmental Protection Agency to reconsider California’s long-contested waiver that will allow it to enforce stricter [...]

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  6. [...] Fuel Efficiency – Obama ordered the EPA to grant California’s long-awaited emission waiver affirming the Golden State’s, and 13 fellow states’, power to enforce stricter [...]

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  7. [...] Fuel Efficiency – Obama ordered the EPA to grant California’s long-awaited emission waiver affirming the Golden State’s, and 13 fellow states’, power to enforce stricter [...]

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  8. [...] Fuel Efficiency – Obama ordered the EPA to grant California’s long-awaited emission waiver affirming the Golden State’s, and 13 fellow states’, power to enforce stricter [...]

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