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Posts Tagged ‘Arnold Schwarzenegger’

Obama Orders Fast Action on CAFE and California Car Standards

Proposed CO2 rules could force a big mileage increase.

by on Jan.26, 2009

Would new CO2 rules bar big SUVs?

Would new CO2 rules bar big SUVs?

As anticipated in our preview post early this morning, President Barack Obama today made some quick moves on the auto industry’s two biggest energy and environmental issues. Although he’s not yet named a “car czar” to oversee financial aid and other federal activities on cars, Mr. Obama established that — whoever the czars or czarinas of his administration might be — they’ll all tow the line when it comes to advancing his agenda.

Signing two executive orders, the president handed one to his Secretary of Transportation and the other to his Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. DOT czar Ray LaHood was directed to quickly finalize a new Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) rule for model year 2011, and EPA czarina Lisa Jackson was ordered to provide an expedited review of California’s request to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from cars.

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Barack to Arnold: We’ll Get Right On It

Obama expected to announce swift action on California's request to regulate tailpipe CO2

by on Jan.26, 2009

CA Rules Would Limit CO2

CA Rules Would Limit CO2

It is being reported that on Monday President Obama will pledge a quick review of the Bush Administration’s decision last March to deny California’s request for a Clean Air Act waiver that would enable the state to put in place its stringent greenhouse gas emissions standards for cars and light trucks.

On the day after the inauguration, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger wrote Obama with such a request, backing a parallel letter from the head of the state’s air resources board to incoming EPA administrator Lisa Jackson.

Mr. Obama ran on “change” and the expected announcements appear aimed at making it clear that his administration is serious in that regard. Although it may take some time for EPA to formally review and reconsider California’s waiver request, granting it would deliver on one of Obama’s campaign pledges. It would also represent a tangible step toward stronger climate regulation, one that the incoming administration can take on its own, without waiting for Congressional action.

Automakers have continued to strongly protest California’s stronger standards, arguing that a single, federal program regulating automobile CO2 emissions is much less costly. They point to Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards as the preferred approach.

The state of California, along with environmentalists, assert that the stronger standards are both feasible and cost-effective, and would result in greater emissions reductions that those from CAFE standards. (This writer testified in favor of the California standards when they were up for approval before the state’s Air Resources Board in September 2004.)

The new administration has also said it will move quickly to finalize new rules setting CAFE standards for cars and light trucks through 2015. A draft rule developed by the Bush Administration had been all but finalized in early December when the GM and Chrysler bailout pleas reached Washington. At that point, the Bush team put the rule on old, leaving it to be finalized by the Obama team. (more…)

Arnold to Barack: Let My State Regulate Cars

Obama could find himself in a squeeze between "Ah-nold" and the auto industry.

by on Jan.22, 2009

Arnold to Obama: Don't Terminate CO2 Rules

Arnold to Obama: Don't Terminate CO2 Rules

The whole world is remarking on how the incoming Obama Administration is moving quickly to take charge. In spite of the president’s comments shortly after the election that “there’s only one President,” it became clear (with relief to many) that the transition team was moving quickly to advance its agenda even as Mr. Bush was counting the days until he could head home to his Texas ranch.
Doubtless numerous petitioners have items for the new team’s short list. One of the first to make a plea is Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has requested that the Environmental Protection Agency rapidly reconsider its denial of permission for California to implement the “Pavley” standards to limit greenhouse gas emissions from cars. This measure is named for then state representative (now state senator) Fran Pavley of Santa Monica, who first introduced it.

Since the California law was passed in 2002, 13 other states and counting have signaled their intent to adopt the standards. If implemented, California rules would cover half the U.S. auto market, holding car and light truck sales in those states to CO2 emissions levels lower than those implied by Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards.

The California Air Resources Board wrote to Lisa Jackson, the designated appointee for Administrator of EPA, asking the agency to reconsider its March 2008 denial of California’s original waiver petition. The governor’s accompanying letter to the president stated, “I ask that you direct the U.S. EPA to act promptly and favorably on California’s reconsideration request so that we may continue the critical work of reducing our greenhouse gas emissions and their impact on global climate change.”

It certainly looks like the governor has a receptive audience. Obama officials had previously signaled willingness to moving forward with both federal and state greenhouse gas regulation, with or without new federal legislation. At her confirmation hearing last week, Jackson said, “I will review the waiver decision, if I’m confirmed, very, very aggressively very soon after confirmation,” during her response to questions before the committee headed up by Sen. Barbara Boxer.

This development is, of course, no surprise. Automakers have a dwindling number of friends in high places and their credibility remains low among green-leaning policymakers. Part of the problem is that the industry came around too slowly on supporting carbon control. After years of denying that it was a problem worth solving, the depth of their commitment still gets questioned. That’s particularly true when Maximum Bob calls global warming a “crock” even though the Detroit Three now all have official positions supporting a national cap on carbon.

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