This should be welcome news for all of you Federalists.
WASHINGTON â€” President Obama will direct federal regulators on Monday to move swiftly on an application by California and 13 other states to set strict automobile emission and fuel efficiency standards, two administration officials said Sunday.
The directive makes good on an Obama campaign pledge and signifies a sharp reversal of Bush administration policy. Granting California and the other states the right to regulate tailpipe emissions would be one of the most emphatic actions Mr. Obama could take to quickly put his stamp on environmental policy.
Mr. Obamaâ€™s presidential memorandum will order the Environmental Protection Agency to reconsider the Bush administrationâ€™s past rejection of the California application. While it stops short of flatly ordering the Bush decision reversed, the agencyâ€™s regulators are now widely expected to do so after completing a formal review process.
Once they act, 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. The auto companies have lobbied hard against the regulations and challenged them in court.
So Obama continues to undo many of the policies of the Bush administration, but does this one make sense? After all, having a patchwork of different emission standards seems like it might not be the best for the auto industry’s economic health.
Still, one has to think that automakers would simply make cars that adhere to the highest standards and continue on from there.
More as it develops…