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Pardes Yehuda: Obama makes landmark move on fuel efficiency

Monday, January 26, 2009

Obama makes landmark move on fuel efficiency

After announcing the planned closures of the prisons at Guantanamo Bay and secret locations in central Europe, the Obama administration has made another fabulously positive and noteworthy announcement.

President Barack Obama has directed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

yes, that EPA, to reconsider an application by California and 13 other states to set stricter limits on greenhouse-gas emissions from cars and trucks and President Obama would also raise the average fuel economy to 35mpg by 2020.

While the second initiative is wonderful, the prior truly provides for some groundbreaking change in how our nation approaches pollution caps. Under the Bush regime states were regulated not in how much pollution they could emit, but rather how much they were able to cap what they emitted. That's right, the Bush regime made it harder for states like California to protect the environment from corporate irresponsibility.

President Obama's insistence that the EPA look again at these states proposal to self-regulate more strictly than federal regulations propose, whether it be his intention or not, is empowering states' rights. The two initiatives coupled together, the rising of the average national fuel economy and the rights for states to self-regulate beyond that level, sets a model for responsible movement towards more productive automobiles and also encourages states to determine for themselves in what capacity they would like to regulate their responsibilities.

When these 14 states set forth stricter guidelines, and are successful with positive results to show, other states will follow suit and we could see the active pursuit, nationwide, of better production and capability of our automobiles. Not because the manufacturers are telling us what we "need," but because consumer demand will call for it.

Yay, change.

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