Washington, DC -
01/26/2009 - Today, the Pew Environment Group applauded President Obama’s decision to instruct the Environmental Protection Agency to review California’s waiver to regulate automobile tailpipe emissions and for the Transportation Department to issue guidelines that will ensure the nation's auto fleet reaches an average fuel efficiency of at least 35 miles per gallon by 2020, if not earlier.
“During the campaign President Obama promised to move our nation toward greater energy independence and address global warming. Today, he made the first down payment on fulfilling that promise,” said Phyllis Cuttino who directs the Pew Environment Group’s U.S. Global Warming Campaign. “Amidst the array of challenges facing his administration, President Obama's actions today send a clear signal to America and the world that his administration will play a leadership role on energy and global warming.”
Citing the need for early action to decrease U.S. dependence on oil and global warming pollution, the Pew Environment Group last week called on President Obama to take four specific executive actions to start forging a safer, cleaner energy future. Those items included:
- Instructing the EPA to formally declare that carbon dioxide and other global warming emissions are a danger to human health and wellbeing. This is the first step in regulating global warming emissions as pollutants under the Clean Air Act.
- Directing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to allow the global warming vehicle standard adopted by 14 states and the District of Columbia to go forward. This would reduce greenhouse gas emissions from new cars and light trucks 30 percent by 2016.
- Accelerating the schedule for increasing fuel efficiency. The 2007 energy bill increased fuel efficiency standards to at least 35 miles per gallon by 2020 but a Department of Transportation analysis shows automakers can meet this goal five years earlier, saving consumers even more money at the pump.
- Ordering higher efficiency standards for federal government buildings and vehicle fleets. This could help jumpstart construction, retrofitting and manufacturing throughout America.
Last week EPA Director Lisa Jackson pledged to regulate carbon dioxide under the Clean Air Act.
“Taking these two steps within the first week of his presidency demonstrates his unwavering commitment. But we will need President Obama’s continued leadership to solve this crisis,” said Cuttino. “This is a win, win for all Americans.”
See the ad
the Pew Environment Group ran in USA Today on January 21, 2009.