Uniform emissions standards

With plans to cut tailpipe emissions in California and 13 other states, uniform standards should be implemented.

In 2007, the Bush administration rejected the state of CaliforniaâÄôs plan to force automakers to cut tailpipe emissions from vehicles by 30 percent by the year 2016 . But President Barack Obama issued a memorandum Monday asking the Environmental Protection Agency to re-examine CaliforniaâÄôs request, and is expected to be promptly approved by the agency. When approved, 13 other states are slated to also approve the same legislation. Also noteworthy , Obama also ordered the Department of Transportation Monday to enact short-term rules on fuel efficiency, with the aim to require all cars and trucks to have a fuel efficiency of 35 miles per gallon by 2020. The Obama administration has acknowledged that these changes will be a challenge for automakers, and has vowed to work and help the industry accordingly. Although the Bush administration noted that it would cost near $100 billion for the auto industry to institute such standards, they serve as a down payment to help automakers prepare for the future. In this auto transition, it is a necessity that the Obama administration work with the industry to make sure the transitions are smooth. Moreover, uniform standards throughout the nation on these auto standards are necessary. If only 13 states adapt CaliforniaâÄôs standards, and others adapt others, it will be challenging for automakers to adapt. But if all is implemented well, the main victor in this policy change will be the environment. For the last decade, the United States has delayed most forms of environmental action regarding the auto industry, and detrimental effects have resulted. In this case, the risk is global, and action is compulsory.