Photo via Bloomberg
And now it's official: there's a brand new national auto emission standard in effect, which will force all cars to get an average of 35.5 MPG when sold in 2016. We broke the news earlier today that Obama made the important announcement, but here's how it all played out. After running down the massive benefits of the move (like huge oil and emissions savings), Obama emphasized the importance of passing the Democrats' climate bill to reduce further emissions. In short, it's a huge day for green--these are the highlights, and what the new law means for the US.According to Politico, which was on hand to report, Obama began by describing how "the U.S. depends too much on oil from other countries -- 'many we would not choose to support if we had a choice.'" He went on to call the current fuel economy laws "inadequate, uncertain and in flux."
AP has a rundown on what the new law would mean:
Obama's proposed change in rules would for the first time combine pollution reduction from vehicle tailpipes with increased efficiency on the road. It would save 1.8 billion barrels of oil through 2016 and would be the environmental equivalent of taking 177 million cars off the road, said senior administration officials speaking anonymously, ahead of the announcement. New vehicles would be 30 percent cleaner and more fuel-efficient by the end of the program, they said.
The move has many optimistic that support is growing for emissions reduction initiatives in general. Obama offered some remarks to assure that the new standards won't hurt industry or taxpayers. From Politico:
"The fact is, everyone wins. Consumers pay less for fuel, which means less money going overseas and more money to save or spend here at home," Obama says.
But is it convincing enough to gain support for even more drastic measures? Obama went on to highlight the importance of passing the Democrats' climate bill, which would lead to much more aggressive carbon emission cuts nationwide. But he left things on a lighter note (sort of), as he often does:
Obama closes by joking: "By the way, I want to mention I still have my Ford parked in Chicago. Ford hybrid. Drives great. You should check it out." [Obama] then backtracks to note that Ford's not the only hybrid-producer in attendance.
More on Obama and Emission Standards
Obama May Set National Auto Emissions Standard
Obama Administration Will Let States Set Auto Emissions Standards