A Fresher Start for the Struggling Auto Industry

By Adam Eisman – Contributing Writer
Posted on Saturday 23rd May 2009

The Bush Administration was no fan of science, and they made that clear. However, the more pragmatic and evidence-based approach of the Obama Administration is already visible in rulings on stem cell research, and more importantly, climate change. For eight years, the United States refused to admit the link between emissions from factories and vehicles and increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, despite the findings of the science community, summed up best in the report released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which argued decisively that not only was the link strong, but if we wait any longer to try to reverse these changes, it may be too late.

The Obama Administration has decided not to wait any longer to make significant changes to emission standards for cars produced in the United States. New rules will be adopted by the United States that, up to this point, had only been recognized in California, but, will result in an average of 35.5 miles per gallon across the entire American automobile fleet by 2016. This is ahead of the timetable set by the 2007 congress, which was less likely to act dramatically on this front. The entire U.S. will also have to adopt the emissions limits imposed by the California state government.

The new ruling comes after the Environmental Protection Agency released a report stating that greenhouse gases pose a threat to the safety of the public and the environment, which allows them to be regulated in the Clean Air Act. In 2009, the options for cars or trucks that could travel over 30 miles on one tank of gas were only 14. By 2016, those options should increase by just a bit.

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