Obama to unveil dramatic new auto emissions standards

May 19, 2009 by Stephen Collinson
Station assistant helps a customer with an emissions test in San Francisco, California. President Barack Obama will open a new front in the battle against climate change on Tuesday, unveiling sweeping mileage and carbon dioxide gas emission requirements for US cars and light trucks.

A new front in the battle against climate change will open Tuesday, when President Barack Obama unveils sweeping new auto regulations described as equivalent to taking 177 million cars off the road.

The first-ever US nationwide standards to combat pollution for automobiles will force struggling US automakers to dramatically boost the efficiency of cars and by 2016.

Covering mileage and carbon dioxide gas emission requirements for US cars and light trucks, they would begin to take effect in 2012.

The program, an administration official said, was projected to save 1.8 billion barrels of oil and achieve reductions of 900 million metric tonnes of -- the equivalent of closing 194 coal plants.

The announcement, greeted with delight by both environmental campaigners and industry officials -- albeit for different reasons -- will also coincide with an effort by the White House and Obama's Democratic allies in Congress to pass a landmark bill aimed at combating global warming.

"The administration is proposing tough new fuel economy standards and the first-ever greenhouse gas pollution standards for cars and trucks," the senior administration official said on condition of anonymity.

The official hailed the proposal, which will be codified in regulations between the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Transportation, as "historic."

New standards will push the fleet average fuel consumption for US vehicles to 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016 (15.44 kilometers per liter) -- four years sooner than is required by current US law.

Most passenger cars must reach 39 miles per gallon by 2016 and light trucks will be required to satisfy regulations of 30 miles per gallon.

For the latest 2009 models, the fleet average for US vehicles is 25 miles per gallon. Most cars currently are required to get 27.5 miles per gallon, while light trucks must reach 23.1 miles per gallon.

But cars will be more expensive because of the new regulations -- by up to 600 dollars per vehicle, above the 700 dollar price hike expected with the latest Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) rules already passed by Congress.

However, drivers will likely be able to recoup the cost as they will have to buy less fuel, the official stated.

The regulations will end a legal battle over stringent standards imposed by California that have been challenged by the auto industry, and put an end to the current patchwork of state-by-state standards.

The new policy will give more certainty to struggling automakers like Ford, General Motors and Chrysler, which have been battered by the financial crisis and are working to refit vehicles by streamlining the regulatory process.

The US auto giants said the plans would provide a single nationwide efficiency standard they have sought.

"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," said new GM CEO Fritz Henderson, stressing that harmonizing the various regulatory standards "will benefit consumers across America."

Chrysler said that along with its alliance partner Fiat, it "will now be able to concentrate their resources on developing a nationwide fleet of clean, fuel-efficient vehicles."

Environmental campaigners reacted with delight to the tough new standards.

"Today's announcement is one of the most significant efforts undertaken by any president, ever, to end our addiction to oil and seriously slash our global warming emissions," said Sierra Club executive director Carl Pope.

"The speed with which the Obama administration is moving to build the clean energy economy has been breathtaking."

California Senator Barbara Boxer, who chairs the Senate committee on Environment and Public Works, called the announcement "good news for all of us who have fought long and hard to reduce pollution, create clean energy jobs and reduce our dangerous dependence on foreign oil."

Democratic Senator Carl Levin of Michigan, the historic home of the US automobile industry, welcomed the move as "the only fair way to regulate fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions."

Tuesday's event, scheduled to be held in the White House Rose Garden, was expected to feature green campaigners, auto industry chiefs and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has pushed efficiency reform.

(c) 2009 AFP

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3432682
3 / 5 (8) May 19, 2009
I hope we all enjoy our 40% smaller government-designed cars, sold by government-owned car companies, fueled by government carbon-taxed gasoline, and government ethanol. I'll bet it's as good as government schools, and that wonderful government retirement system, social security. We can buy it with a loan from the government bank, and insure it with the government insurance company. Then drive to and from our government financed homes. And if we have an accident, our government medical insurance will heal us. How did we end up in the Soviet Union?
Velanarris
3.2 / 5 (5) May 19, 2009
Even in an anarchic society some form of socialism must exist otherwise the whole of society does suffer.

You want to state that your ability to read came from your parents? In most cases I'd deeply disagree.
Avitar
1.7 / 5 (6) May 19, 2009
The European countries have no native population that reproduces at a replacement level. So everywhere, the native civilization is being displaced by barbaric immigrants.



The American family was holding on by a thin thread. With new post-family cars on the roads doubling road fatalities, the American family will no longer be able to transport children safely and be pushed onto the path to extinction that the Europeans are on.
This is Socialism. Asserting that this is supperior to anarchy is problematic since the end result of anarchy is not a tested known but the end result of socalism is proving to be the predicted worst case result for anarchy.

I ceritainly know of several ways of teaching reading that are supperior to public schools. Certainly the home schoolers have proven that.
Roach
3 / 5 (4) May 19, 2009
in 2006 there were 250,000,000 registered pasenger cars on the road. subtracting 70% of them by increasing the fuel efficiency of vehicles between 25 and 50%? Okay, so clearly it's not just emmisions and MPG that is going to do this so how you ask, the key might be in something already stated... "cars will be more expensive because of the new regulations." ok, there's the other 25% Glad I'm not one of those poor bastards that can't afford a new car, and before someone says the article says $600, when was the last time the US government came in under budget and on time? or either really, i mean if they're off by a factor of ten that's close for the feds.
Velanarris
4.3 / 5 (6) May 19, 2009
The European countries have no native population that reproduces at a replacement level. So everywhere, the native civilization is being displaced by barbaric immigrants.

The American family was holding on by a thin thread. With new post-family cars on the roads doubling road fatalities, the American family will no longer be able to transport children safely and be pushed onto the path to extinction that the Europeans are on.

This is Socialism. Asserting that this is supperior to anarchy is problematic since the end result of anarchy is not a tested known but the end result of socalism is proving to be the predicted worst case result for anarchy.

I ceritainly know of several ways of teaching reading that are supperior to public schools. Certainly the home schoolers have proven that.


Would you like to apply that same reasoning to law enforcement, fire prevention and protection, or disease outbreak?

Also, would like you like to comment on the general education levels of Europe with their "barbarians and all" compared to the United States?

I am not a fan of socialism, however I do see its necessity in some aspects of society. Socialism is a method of resource distribution sans economic need.

Sometimes that IS important.
GrayMouser
2.3 / 5 (3) May 19, 2009
I am not a fan of socialism, however I do see its necessity in some aspects of society. Socialism is a method of resource distribution sans economic need.

Sometimes that IS important.

Socialism is simply a replacement for feudalism. The individual is simply property of the state.
lengould100
3.7 / 5 (3) May 20, 2009
Avitar: the American family will no longer be able to transport children safely and be pushed onto the path to extinction
Ridiculous extremism. No wonder no-one listens to the "hard right".

It might also be noted that "socialist asset re-distribution" would not be required if the playing field were a little more even, eg. fair. When schools are run so poorly that graduates can no longer read or write (so no decent jobs), and when decent hard-working employees of Wallmart wind up bankrupt by a childs medical expenses, then definitely some socialism is in order.

Either repair the imbalances in the economy, so that decent working people can manage a decent life without depending on luck to avoid disastrous medical costs, eg. improve the GINI index a lot by clamping down on ridiculous and unnecessary (incentive-wise) incomes of the top 5%, or expect a strong blast of socialism.
lengould100
5 / 5 (2) May 20, 2009
A rationally progressive income & asset tax system would be a tremendous start. And get rid of the lot of unconsionable tax shelters, and figure out why Warren Buffet, the third most wealthy man in the world, without using any tax loopholes / shelters, paid zero income tax last year. Stupidity.
lengould100
3 / 5 (2) May 20, 2009
Washington Post Wednesday, June 27, 2007; Page D03 - "Buffett cited himself, the third-richest person in the world, as an example. Last year, Buffett said, he was taxed at 17.7 percent on his taxable income of more than $46 million. His receptionist was taxed at about 30 percent.



Buffett said that was despite the fact that he was not trying to avoid paying higher taxes. "I don't have a tax shelter," he said. And he challenged Congress and his audience to see what the people who "clean our offices" are taxed

So it wasn't zero, but about 1/2 what a "working poor" pays. I can't think of a single reason why the average wage-earner should be contributing to the US spending 5% of its GDP on a military designed to make sure it's a US or British oil company exploiting Iraqi oil fields and not a Belgian or French. It makes not an iota of difference to the price of gas, or anything else for that matter.
Velanarris
5 / 5 (1) May 20, 2009
So it wasn't zero, but about 1/2 what a "working poor" pays. I can't think of a single reason why the average wage-earner should be contributing to the US spending 5% of its GDP on a military designed to make sure it's a US or British oil company exploiting Iraqi oil fields and not a Belgian or French. It makes not an iota of difference to the price of gas, or anything else for that matter.
What in the hell are you talking about? Warren Buffet paid 17% on ALL of his income, more than half of which is not made in America, meaning, it's not taxable by the US government regardless of the tax law.
lengould100
3 / 5 (2) May 21, 2009
Reference for that assumption? Seems to me Buffet would be "effectively lying" and the Washington Post would be at least guilty of faulty reporting if they allowed that to colour the statements.
Velanarris
5 / 5 (2) May 21, 2009
Reference for that assumption? Seems to me Buffet would be "effectively lying" and the Washington Post would be at least guilty of faulty reporting if they allowed that to colour the statements.
Welcome to the American media.
theophys
5 / 5 (1) May 22, 2009
The European countries have no native population that reproduces at a replacement level. So everywhere, the native civilization is being displaced by barbaric immigrants.

I seem to remember a similar statement in Mein Kampf. I hate to throw out Hitler, but this is a very close paraphrasing of his views of social evolution sans antisemitism.

This is Socialism. Asserting that this is supperior to anarchy is problematic since the end result of anarchy is not a tested known but the end result of socalism is proving to be the predicted worst case result for anarchy.

Socialism and anarchy have very little in common. For one, socialism involves
a very active goverment while true anarchy would require zero government and no social contract. Personaly, I like the social contract more than I fear fat guys in suits making legislation.

I ceritainly know of several ways of teaching reading that are supperior to public schools. Certainly the home schoolers have proven that.

I haven't met a single homeschooler that I couldn't out preform in reading, math, and basic social interaction. The fact is, people who have spent years studying the methods and psychology of education tend to be just a tad better at teaching children than the average joe. With the occasional acception, of course.
Velanarris
5 / 5 (1) May 23, 2009
With the occasional acception, of course.
Exception...

Also, I think the greatest fault of most "home-school" programs is the lack of social development.
theophys
not rated yet May 24, 2009
With the occasional acception, of course.
Exception...


My bad.
Velanarris
not rated yet May 25, 2009
With the occasional acception, of course.
Exception...

My bad.
No worries, I had to toss that dig in considering the prior statement. It was just too easy.

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