From Green Right Now Reports:
Today, the Obama Administration announced unprecedented new auto emissions and mileage standards that would streamline all states under one federal guideline, raise the fuel economy of cars made and sold in America and significantly curb greenhouse gas pollution.
The new rules will raise the required fleet average mileage to 35.5 mpg in 2016 from 25.1 mpg today. (Cars would have to meet a 39 mpg average, with passenger trucks set at 30 mpg.)
The mileage guidelines would be combined with emissions standards that aim to reduce greenhouse gas pollution and would settle a disagreement between Washington and California, which had been trying for years to set tighter standards. The Bush Administration and automakers had fought California's move, saying it would make it would launch a patchwork of emissions guidelines. Today's proposal essentially adopts as the national guideline the standards California and 13 other states have sought.
The changes would save carbon emissions equivalent to taking 177 million cars off the road through 2016, according to the White House.
The move brings together environmentalists, automakers, the federal government and states, groups long at odds over these details.
What people are saying:
Auto Alliance: "What's significant about the announcement is it launches a new beginning, an era of cooperation. The President has succeeded in bringing three regulatory bodies, 15 states, a dozen automakers and many environmental groups to the table. We're all agreeing to work together on a National Program." — Dave McCurdy, president and CEO, Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers.
Environmental Defense Fund "The White House forged a new agreement by bringing together broad bipartisan geopolitical interests. By finding common ground with Midwestern auto makers, heartland labor interests, coastal Governors, and environmentalists, the White House and Congressional leaders are bringing diverse interests together, adding momentum to the drive for comprehensive climate legislation." — Fred Krupp, president EDF
Natural Resources Defense Council: "President Obama, the state of California, the auto industry, and environmental leaders have come together around a global warming solution that will strengthen our economy and put the auto industry on the path to a clean energy future. The future of the auto industry lies in making cleaner, more fuel-efficient vehicles that reduce global warming pollution and our dependence on oil." — Frances Beinecke, president NRDC.
General Motors: "General Motors commends President Obama's leadership to establish a harmonized National Program to improve vehicle fuel economy and lower greenhouse gas emissions. Energy security and climate change are national priorities that require federal leadership and the President's direction makes sense for the country and the industry. Harmonizing a variety of regulations will benefit consumers across America by getting cleaner, more efficient vehicles on the road quicker and more affordably. In turn, GM and the auto industry benefit by having more consistency and certainty to guide our product plans." GM President and CEO Fritz Henderson.
Watch President Obama's announcement
DNC Chairman Tim Kaine: "Considering the failure of the last administration to take any action to address climate change or to even identify carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions as dangerous, this new standard is a sea change in public policy. It will breathe new life into the industry, by creating a strong, reliable market for fuel efficient cars and drive technological innovation and as gas prices rise greater fuel efficiency will save Americans money at the pump. In this single action, President Obama has reiterated his commitment to addressing the climate crisis and reviving America's auto industry, by ensuring that the next generation of clean, efficient vehicles is manufactured right here in the United States."
Ford: "This national program will allow us to move forward toward final regulations that all stakeholders can support. We salute the cooperative efforts of the Obama Administration, the state of California, environmental groups and others that played a constructive role in this process. The framework of the national program will give us greater clarity, certainty and flexibility to achieve the nation's goals. We will continue to work with the federal agencies to finalize the standards that we are committed to meeting."