President Obama to Announce ‘Historic’ Fuel Efficiency and Carbon Emission Standards for U.S.-Sold Vehicles Tomorrow

May 18, 2009 1:32pm

President Obama will tomorrow announce a "historic" new policy involving new greenhouse gas emission standards and new Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards for vehicles sold in the U.S., sources tell ABC News.

The announcement will involve a broad coalition including state governments — Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger from environmentally-conscious California and Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm from auto-friendly Michigan will be there — as well as both the Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency, automakers, environmental groups, and others. The announcement was first reported by Politico’s Mike Allen.

The Transportation Department will handle the new CAFE standards, while the EPA will handle the new greenhouse gas emission standards. They will be initiated through administrative rulemaking.

On January 26, President Obama issued a presidential memorandum requesting EPA administrator Lisa Jackson to reconsider the Bush EPA’s 2007 denial of waiver California and 13 other states sought to set their own, stricter automobile emissions and fuel efficiency standards.

"This will help us create incentives to develop new energy that will make us less dependent on the oil that endangers our security, our economy and our planet," the president said. "As we move forward, we will fully take into account the unique challenges facing the American auto industry and the taxpayer dollars that now support it. And let me be clear: Our goal is not to further burden an already struggling industry; it is to help America’s automakers prepare for the future."

He said his administration would implement new CAFE standards for model year 2011.

"Congress has passed legislation to increase standards to at least 35 miles per gallon by 2020," he said. "That 40 percent increase in fuel efficiency for our cars and trucks could save over 2 million barrels of oil every day: nearly the amount of oil that we import from the Persian Gulf."

Jake Tapper and Sunlen Miller

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