Tuesday, January 27, 2009

OBAMA STRIKES BLOW FOR FUEL EFFICIENCY

This is not only good for the environment; it's a rare example of a contemporary president observing the 10th Amendment's grant of powers to states.

LA Times
- President Obama moved on two fronts Monday to force automakers to produce more fuel-efficient vehicles, including a major step in permitting California and other states to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. Lawmakers and environmentalists said the president's actions paved the way to development of a national carbon standard for automobiles.

Such a standard already is in force in Europe and Japan. Crafting a national rule would please environmentalists, but surprisingly could also satisfy the automobile industry, which has argued that trying to comply with a California greenhouse gas rule in addition to a federal mileage standard would be cumbersome and costly.

Allowing California and 13 other states to enforce the tailpipe rules could amount to a live test run for a federal greenhouse gas regulation. . .

Obama also instructed the Department of Transportation to implement new federal fuel economy standards and touted some $90 billion in clean-energy spending in the massive stimulus bill pending in Congress, including an apparent tenfold increase in federal assistance for the development of super-efficient automobiles.