Obama to unveil dramatic new auto emissions standards

Station assistant helps a customer with an emissions test
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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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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

May 24, 2009
With the occasional acception, of course.
Exception...


My bad.

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