Obama clearing way for California emissions waiver - Los Angeles Times
Obama clearing way for California emissions waiver
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States would be able to issue stricter rules on auto emissions if the EPA grants a waiver to California. President Obama is expected to ask the agency to reconsider a Bush-era denial of the waiver.
The president will ask the EPA today to allow states to set their own, stricter rules for auto emissions, sources say.
By Ken Bensinger and Jim Tankersley
January 26, 2009
Reporting from Washington and Los Angeles -- President Obama will direct the EPA today to reconsider a Bush-era decision that stopped California and more than a dozen other states from setting their own stricter limits on auto emissions, according to sources familiar with the matter.
Should the agency allow a waiver from federal rules, states could require automakers to increase the fuel efficiency of cars and trucks far above current limits. It also would fulfill a long-held goal of environmentalists, as well as one of Obama's campaign promises.
A waiver would be another dramatic rebuke of Bush administration policies, as well as a swift statement that the new president intends to put his own stamp on environmental issues.
"This should prompt cheers from California to Maine," said Frank O'Donnell, president of Clean Air Watch, who praised Obama as "a man of his word" for the decision.