Obama Asks EPA to Reconsider Auto Emissions Position

Reader Contribution by Jessie Fetterling

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.