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Posted: 1/25/2009 11:45:56 PM EDT

By BEN FELLER, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama is poised to let California and other states set their own auto emission standards in their drive to slash greenhouse gases, an official familiar with the decision said Sunday.

The move is significant on two fronts: It could empower states to set tougher standards in targeting emissions, which are blamed for contributing to global climate change; and it would be another swift reversal by Obama of Bush administration policy, this time on energy.

Plunging into his first full week at president, Obama is expected to reveal the auto-emissions policy Monday morning in the East Room of the White House. The official familiar with the details spoke on condition of anonymity because the plan had not yet been announced.

Obama is also expected to direct the Transportation Department to get moving on rules for automakers to improve fuel economy. A 2007 law requires that by 2020 new cars and trucks meet 35 miles per gallon, a 40 percent increase over current standards. The Bush administration ended its tenure before putting the new fuel-economy rules in place.

On tailpipe emissions from cars and trucks, California and at least 13 other states have sought permission to enact tough standards by getting waivers under the Clean Air Act.

The Bush administration's Environmental Protection Agency denied that permission, arguing it was more effective to have a national strategy in curbing greenhouse gases. California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has lobbied Obama to step in and reverse the decision.

As a candidate for president, Obama pledged to overturn the EPA's denial of a waiver to California — a denial that affects several other states that have followed California's lead in emissions standards.

On Monday, Obama will order the EPA to reconsider the California decision, a process that could take time but is expected to end up in the states' favor.

The New York Times first reported Obama's planned moves on its Web site Sunday night.

The president on Monday is also expected to tout proposals that he says would boost clean energy supplies while also producing badly needed jobs in so-called "green" industries.

Already, Obama has used his executive power to reverse President George W. Bush's policies on interrogation policies of suspected terrorists, the Guantanamo Bay detention center, and funding for international groups that perform abortions or provide abortion information.
Link Posted: 1/25/2009 11:51:03 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/25/2009 11:52:11 PM EDT




Link Posted: 1/26/2009 12:01:36 AM EDT
Lets kill 40hp more with emissions.
Link Posted: 1/26/2009 12:04:02 AM EDT
The EPA goons got their pussies in a wringer with the 1990 CAA amendments because it foisted unfunded mandates on state/regional/local governments and was the reason for all the other states to implement environmental agencies.  Here in Texas, they cannot decide what to call it, been Texas Natural Resocuce Conservation Commission which was changed because they thought the bureau acronym sounded too much like Train Wreck (TNRCC) so they renamed it Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

These commissions, save California Air Resources Board (CARB) are just EPA rubber stamps.  And because the intended goal of EPA is based on zero baseline threshold, they are nigh impossible to eventually meet.  Why?  Air quality from automotive emissions is based on 3 things, NOx, HC/CO and SUNLIGHT, all three are required to make ground level ozone which is the EPA's largest concern.  Only the HC/CO from autos has dropped drastically in the past 10 years and the main source of HC?  TREES.  Yes, trees emit HC.

Now the EPA is also clamping down on particulates, specifically from diesel engines.  They measure PM on roadways, especially the PM10 (10 micron),  Only the major source of PM10 and below isn't diesel engines but TIRE WEAR.  Carbon black gives tires their color.  And this carbon wear material is indistinguishable from diesel soot except soot likes to adhere to plants and other things where tire dust doesn't adhere.

Now if obama wants to list CO2 as an emission, he better tax every living thing because even horse-drawn vehicles emit CO2.
Link Posted: 1/26/2009 12:05:39 AM EDT
Lets kill 40hp more with emissions.

Auto makers have done a great job reducing emissions without penalties to power.  Except for diesel particulate traps which waste energy to get the oxidation catalyst to temperature.
Link Posted: 1/26/2009 4:48:36 AM EDT
Good write up.

California accounts for a huge chunk of America’s new car sales (at least for the transplants). And 13 other states (Arizona, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington) follow its vehicular emissions laws. Put them together and they account for just under half of all American new vehicle sales. And now, thanks to President Obama’s decision to grant California a waiver from federal emissions regulations, they’re going to call the shots for the entire U.S. automotive industry.

President Obama will free California impose its own vehicular tailpipe regulations. Those rules, already drafted, consider CO2 a pollutant. (Global warming and all that.) Manufacturers wishing to sell vehicles in California and its legislative clones will have to meet a new, fleet-wide CO2 standard. As CO2 emissions are directly related to fuel economy, CA et. al. will be, effectively, directing the carmakers to sell higher mileage vehicles. Significantly higher.

“The California law, which was originally meant to take effect in the 2009 model year, requires automakers to cut emissions by nearly a third by 2016, four years ahead of the federal timetable,” The New York Times reports. “The result would be an increase in fuel efficiency in the American car and light truck fleet to roughly 35 miles per gallon from the current average of 27.”

There are two schools of thought on the effects of this move. First, not only can Detroit and the rest of them meet the higher standards, but it’s about fucking time.

“This is a complete reversal of President Bush’s policy of censoring or ignoring global warming science,” Daniel J. Weiss, director of climate strategy at the Center for American Progress in Washington, told the Gray Lady. “With the fuel economy measures and clean energy investments in the recovery package, President Obama has done more in one week to reduce oil dependence and global warming than George Bush did in eight years.”

For environmental activists, the idea that automakers can meet the new California standard is a given. Another shibboleth: carmakers would have already done so if not for their greedy, SUV-pimping, foot-dragging ways. The fact that $4 a gallon gas did more for the environmentalist’s cause than decades of federal corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards is shoved aside. As is the fact that the electorate voted with their wallets.

There’s a planet to be saved; free markets be damned. From this perspective, the federal waiver is a victory for Mother Earth that will be fully vindicated by its non-impact on the auto industry and its immeasurable impact on the earth’s climate. One way and the other, decades hence, people will wonder what all the fuss was about.

Alternatively, the decision to empower California to set national fuel economy standards will, as the automakers have warned, wreak havoc on a fragile industry, drive-up prices for consumers and, ultimately, fail.

There’s no way automakers selling cars in America can meet the California mob’s higher, fleet-wide fuel economy standards within the deadline without chopping low-mileage models from their lineup within the relevant states. (The fuel-sucking CUV halfway house, for example, just became an evolutionary dead end.) Detroit News columnist Daniel Howes described the CA mandate as the involuntary hybridization of the nation’s fleet. That sounds about right to me.

Whether manufacturers would offer low[er] mileage vehicles for sale outside of the 14-states is a tricky question, given the intersection of politics, PR and commercial reality. Whether those non-CA-friendly vehicles could be “imported” into the 14-state cabal is even trickier. And speaking of tricky…

As The NYT points out, the new laws mean “automobile manufacturers will quickly have to retool to begin producing and selling cars and trucks that get higher mileage than the national standard, and on a faster phase-in schedule.”

Has anyone looked at the U.S. new car market recently? Who’s got money for that shit? And who’s going to pay cash money to buy these newfangled fuel misers? What if these wonderful machines don’t sell?

All of which highlights the small matter of what “we” (i.e. taxpayers) are going to do about GM and Chrysler, currently (and for the foreseeable future) sucking on Uncle Sam’s teat.

While the Department of Energy is preparing to dole out dole worth $25b for retooling “loans” to build these more left-coast compliant vehicles, this turn of events suggests that Uncle Sam will be on the hook for even more more money for GM and ChryCo. Hey, you want us to build way cool fuel efficient vehicles? You gotta pay. I mean, loan.

I understand the rationale behind California’s zeal and President Obama’s support. But there’s no doubt that they’ve just invoked the law of unintended consequences. Thought politically toxic, a gas tax hike would have been a far more effective solution. As we shall soon see.

I would actually prefer a Gas Tax increase over this nonsense.

Link Posted: 1/26/2009 4:50:31 AM EDT
How many days of this fucked up bullshit do we have left to endure?
Link Posted: 1/26/2009 4:52:11 AM EDT

This will be repetitive with this administration.
Link Posted: 1/27/2009 12:00:52 AM EDT
So I guess you guys want the Feds to impose their will on the marketplace in this matter?
Link Posted: 1/27/2009 12:09:48 AM EDT
Don't the states already set their own standards?  I know you have to have your emissions tested in some states, but you don't here in Wyoming.  Is the federal government setting the standard now and the state can choose weather or not to enforce it?
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