Obama Administration Helping Auto Industry Turn The Corner

Larry Schweiger, president and CEO of National Wildlife Federation, joined President Barack Obama Monday at the White House as President Obama directed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to grant state waiver requests to strengthen tailpipe emissions standards.

The requests from California and 13 other states as well as the District of Columbia had been turned away by the Bush administration. President Obama also instructed his administration to develop new fuel-efficiency guidelines for the auto industry covering 2011 model-year cars.

"President Obama has demonstrated again today that change is coming to America. This is a distinct call to action, driven by the facts of a warming planet and an economy in crisis. Today's decision provides the kind of sound direction the auto industry needs to once again lead and build the kind of cars not only America needs, but the world needs. Our energy policies will no longer be based on denial and delay but instead on sound science that tells us we don't have to choose among efficient vehicles, jobs and a healthy environment,” Schweiger said Monday.

"With these new standards and President Obama's proposed new green investments, we can advance cutting-edge technology that will restore America's place as a world leader in the auto industry, save consumers money, and reduce our global warming pollution. President Obama has sent a clear message that America is leaving behind our failed fossil fuel policies that leave consumers at the mercy of wild swings in prices at the pump.

"The National Wildlife Federation will put all our efforts behind supporting legislation that invests in the technologies and builds the infrastructure that will create new jobs and protect the environment. Congress must take the first step now, passing a green economic recovery package to repower America's economy. Looking forward, the most important thing America can do in 2009 to galvanize investment in clean energy technology is to enact a cap-and-invest plan that invests in clean energy technologies, reduces global warming pollution, and protects our natural resources."

Published: January 27, 2009