Posts Tagged: automobile industry

Meanwhile, progress in cutting auto pollution

In the midst of the ruckus over the debt ceiling, Barack Obama announced strong new fuel efficiency standards for automobiles. This is something of a “man bites dog” story at a time of major cuts for the Environmental Protection Agency and Congress’s apparent inability to avoid a federal default. TIME’s Michael Grunwald writes that the standards represent “a big victory in the fight to reduce our foreign oil addiction, our carbon emissions, and our gasoline costs.” The success in writing such an ambitious law — that cars must go 55 miles per gallon by 2025 – seems largely due to the fact that Detroit automakers are literally indebted to the Obama administration, not to mention efforts by California to up tailpipe emission standards.



The Environmental Protection Agency finally finally gave California a waiver so it can set its own automobile tailpipe emissions standards, reports the Washington Post’s David Farenthold. Farenthold subsequently explains this isn’t that big of a deal: Barack Obama announced in May that starting in 2012 there would be new national standards auto emissions and California would agree to follow those standards.

Still, the fights between California and the EPA during the Bush administration were ugly and it seems significant that the Obama administration restored California’s right to take the lead on environmental issues. Also, thirteen states and the District of Columbia will follow whatever standards California establishes. The banks might own Washington, but it’s clear that the crippled automobile industry and their arsenal of lobbyists don’t.-MB