obama says that california and other states have the right to demand more aggressive emissions and fuel efficiency standards from automakers

Now that Obama has proposed an economic recovery plan, and set the wheels in motion to close our secret prisons around the world, deal with the individuals being held without charges at Guantanamo and stop the use of torture, he’s moving on to the environment. Today he signed two executive orders on environmental policy, and directed federal regulators to – according to the New York Times – “move swiftly on an application by California and 13 other states to set strict automobile emission and fuel efficiency standards,” something which the Bush administration had vehemently opposed.

The automotive industry, as you might expect, has gone apoplectic. Here’s a clip from yet another article in the New York Times:

… The California regulations, if enacted today, “would basically kill the industry,” said David E. Cole, chairman of the Center for Automotive Research, an independent research organization in Ann Arbor, Mich. “It would have a devastating effect on everybody, and not just the domestics.”

I wish I could go on an on about this, but I’ve got other work I need to attend to tonight. If want to lend a hand and help fill in some of the blanks, it would be appreciated. Just leave a comment.

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  1. mark
    Posted January 27, 2009 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    I didn’t include the Dingell quote, but in one of the articles there’s a section about him where he completely seems to be onboard with what Barack is saying. It’s funny.

  2. Posted January 27, 2009 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    Without getting into the merits of Obama’s EPA granting the California waiver (which is all but required by the Clean Air Act and may have been forced by a federal court anyway), it’s ridiculous to the point of unbelievable that the auto companies (including Toyota and the other “imports”) didn’t see this coming years ago.

    California began discussion tighter standards about a decade ago. We hosted an event at UM about 5 years ago in which Ford’s VP of government relations debated the merits of California’s proposed stricter standards. They had to know that stricter emissions limits and increased fuel efficiency requirements were a possibility back then and an inevitability at some point in the future. And if all that wasn’t obvious enough, Obama promised to do this a year ago, and even McCain indicated support as well.

  3. Brackache
    Posted January 27, 2009 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    You totally voted for a State’s rights advocate.

  4. ol' e cross
    Posted January 27, 2009 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    Sounds fair to me. Maybe now Michigan join with a few other states to demand that all computers cut energy use in half and are completely biodegradable by 2012?

  5. bigkeith
    Posted January 27, 2009 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    same old song and dance from the auto industry, just a different decade. They also fought against the following, in no particular order:
    1) seatbelts.
    2) airbags.
    3) safety glass.

    cry me a river.

  6. Joe
    Posted January 27, 2009 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    I believe if you would consult Einstein you would discover that a gallon of gas cannot possess an unlimited amount of energy to propel a mass unlimited miles!
    Pollution equipment reduces an engines efficiency in that it uses power from the engine to operate.While we could reduce emissions to almost zero your engines power would also be reduced to about the same and so would your fuel economy. Hydrogen generators are about the best idea going but there again they mess up the pollution systems that are mandatory. Catch 22.
    And all the extra systems do cost real money which raises the price tag,which results in lessened sales.
    The auto makers must produce a “safe” vehicle and are at the edge of how much they can be lightened and maintain any resemblance of safety or drive ability,hence the need of all this safety garbage. Basically if the State of Commifornia wants to do away with autos,just outlaw any internal combustion engine usage and be done with it!After all that is what they want!

  7. Brackache
    Posted January 27, 2009 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    Let the States decide for themselves, and get the feds out of it. That way, if some states have unrealistic expectations and unwise policies, they will be out-competed by the ones who don’t. Yay States’ rights!

  8. Paw
    Posted January 27, 2009 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    Who pissed in your tea kettle Ol’ E Cross? And are you really equating computers to automobiles relative to the pollution proven to cause global warming? I’ll grant you that advances could be made in the area of personal electronics, but you can’t possibly equate the use of a laptop to the running of a car.

  9. ol' e cross
    Posted January 27, 2009 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

    Truth be, Paw, I have mixed feelings. I very much want better fuel efficiency for vehicles, but I do resent California’s heavy handed effort to make Michigan take on the burden of fixing their smog problems. If they really, really cared, they could fund better mass transit around LA. They could ban SUVs on expressways. They could dramatically increase their state gas tax. They could pay.

    Instead, they’re pushing blame away from their policy and consumer/voter choices off on other states and forcing costly change on industry that will have minimal impact on their economy. It’s an incredibly easy choice for their politicians. Blame someone else. Make someone else fix it.

    Truth is, I hate California. I hate their sunshine. I hate their beaches. I hate their movies. I hate their tan fit bodies telling us what to do through a bleached toothy smile. Especially when they climb into their dune-buggies and barrel off into the smog soaked sunset, kicking up salt soaked sand and tossing their laptops into the silicon breasted valley.

    If anyone else had asked…

  10. Posted January 28, 2009 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    Funny ha ha?

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