Obama Asks EPA to Reconsider Auto Emissions Position

| 1/26/2009 12:31:39 PM

President Barack Obama signed an executive order Monday morning, asking the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reconsider California’s request to create its own limits on automobile carbon dioxide emissions. The state’s goal is to reduce emissions by 30 percent by 2016. To make that goal, automakers would be required to manufacture automobiles that get better mileage. While the state’s requirements would be stricter than any national standard, 13 other states may follow California’s lead.

In his address on the executive order, he said, “I want to be clear from the beginning of this administration that we have made our choice. America will not be held hostage to the dwindling resources, hostile regimes and a warming planet.” Along with the EPA request, Obama asked that automakers enhance their fuel efficiency standards nationwide for 2011. He also is looking for more ways that federal agencies can save energy.

According to Union of Concerned Scientists President Kevin Knobloch, "This is the first of a number of campaign promises President Obama needs to fulfill when it comes to bolstering our economy and protecting the environment. Cleaner cars will strengthen our domestic auto industry. Cutting emissions from the transportation sector is critical to avoiding the worst consequences of global warming. By directing the Department of Transportation to revisit federal fuel economy standards, Obama has an opportunity to make even greater gains in cutting our oil consumption and saving consumers money at the pump.”

You can watch more of what Obama said in the video below.

Kenneth Gregory Tibbits
1/30/2009 11:31:51 AM

Altough still living in a sparsly populated neighborhood about 15 miles from the city hall of the nearest city, many of the more well-to-do people are installing photovoltaic panels (modules) upon their rooftops, mostly because they like paying no electric bills. Rather than simply giving a tax rebate that amounts to 50 percent to people who connect directly to the electric grid, requiring that liscensed contractors do the job, to encourage purchase of solar energy products, I suggest you make further economic stimulous payments to banks conditional upon their lending to consumers who purchase products and services that are environmentally related and/or related to renewable energy or energy efficiency improvements. Call it "sustainable purchase benefits" or the like. Recently by phone, a Merrill Lynch credit card customer services representative asked me the purpose of a $1,000 cash transfer request, and I said "home improvement," refering to a plumbing upgrade. This investment was encouraged by an introductory low-interest rate the card had. Now, if the bank had a governmentally suggested or required or subsidized policy of giving a permanant low-interest credit card loan, to payments for energy efficient appliances, including renewable energy products that are available, for example, at companies like the Real Goods Trading Corporation (http://www.realgoods.com), this would stimulate more intelligent consumer spending, benefiting both the economy and sustainable manufacturing. Should the cost of oil rise because Saudi Arabia decides to "punish' America for going toward solar and wind and domestic natural gas and LPG (usually the best off-the grid heating fuel source), the banks-government could perhaps decide to make the interest break even better, like zero percent interest or even forgiveness of proportional renewable energy purchases to purchases of any kind of product or service. The economic recovery package

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