Issue Date: February 2, 2009
Obama Inks Emissions Orders
Last week, President Barack Obama directed EPA and the Department of Transportation (DOT) to take action likely to force automakers to increase cars' fuel economy while cutting their emissions of carbon dioxide. Obama instructed Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to issue a final rule increasing the corporate average fuel-economy standard from the current 22.5 mpg for model year 2011 cars. A 2007 law requires DOT to begin ratcheting up this standard starting in the 2011 model year and to raise it to at least 35 mpg by 2020. Meanwhile, Obama directed EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to reassess a request by California to establish limits on the amount of greenhouse gases, including CO2, released by new cars and trucks sold in the state. Under the Bush Administration, EPA rejected the state's request in December 2007; Obama noted that it marked the first time the agency had denied a California request to set state vehicle emission standards tighter than federal ones.
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