Obama Embraces 'States Right' on Auto Emissions

Other states asking for similar waiver to California include Arizona, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.

Published: 26-Jan-2009

On Monday, President Barack Obama directed the Environmental Protection Agency to reconsider a waiver request by California and 13 other states to set standards on auto emissions – including those of greenhouse gases – that are tougher than federal standards.

The directive represents a sharp break from the climate policies of Mr. Obama’s predecessor, as well as an embrace of states’ rights, a concept not strongly associated with the Democratic party for almost 50 years.

California spent the better part of the Bush presidency trying to set limits on tailpipe emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases. In 2002, it drafted a law that would cut greenhouse gas emissions from new cars sold in the state by 22 percent by 2012 and 30 percent by 2016. Since then, it has been battling the federal government to allow it to adopt this law.

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