Obama signals support for stricter auto emission standards and fuel economy

By Barbara Kessler
Green Right Now

President Obama signaled his support for stricter auto emissions controls on Monday by directing federal agencies to review plans by California and other states that want to leapfrog federal standards with more stringent ones of their own.

The president also ordered the Transportation Department to quickly issue tighter gas mileage standards, so that automakers can plan for improved, more energy efficient vehicles for the 2011 model year.

On the emissions issue, the Bush Administration had maintained that states could not set independent standards, because regulating greenhouse gas emissions should be handled by national laws. (A bit of a paradox, since the Bush Administration did not support federal greenhouse gas laws either.)