Obama waves goodbye to auto-inefficiency. Photo via Chicago Sun Times
After much speculation, news just broke that Obama is going to announce a national emissions standard tomorrow--and it's going to be tough. As tough as California's, in fact, which is the strictest in the nation. Indeed, Obama is combining the corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standard with California's new emissions law--and the result is great news: cars will be 30 percent more efficient by 2016, as all cars sold then must get 42 miles per gallon. The move is somewhat unexpected (the fuel economy standard Obama set for 2011 was seen as a disappointing sign to many). Accordng to the New York Times:
President Obama will announce as early as Tuesday that he will combine California's tough new auto-emissions rules with the existing corporate average fuel economy standard to create a single new national standard, the officials said. As a result, cars and light trucks sold in the United States will be roughly 30 percent cleaner and more fuel-efficient by 2016.
Predictably, environmentalists are enthused:
"This is a very big deal," said Daniel Becker of the Safe Climate Campaign, a group that has pushed for tougher mileage and emissions standards with the goal of curbing the heat-trapping gases that have been linked to global warming. "This is the single biggest step the American government has ever taken to cut greenhouse-gas emissions."
Reportedly, automakers are already on track to comply with the efficiency standards for the next couple years, but will have to work to increase efficiency after 2013--meaning cleaner, greener, American cars.
So ha made good on one of my suggestions for the 7 green things Obama should do in his second 100 days (he must read TreeHugger). Maybe the other 6 are next?