In President Obama's speech this afternoon about the new 35.5 mpg CAFE standard for 2016, he made sure to emphasize the broad support for the new national rule. From the responses we're seeing around the web following the announcement, it's clear that he wasn't just expressing a hope that a broad coalition would come together. Everyone from the Auto Alliance to the Automotive X Prize has put out a statement in favor of the new rule. Ford President and CEO Alan Mulally said:

This national program will allow us to move forward toward final regulations that all stakeholders can support. We salute the cooperative efforts of the Obama Administration, the state of California, environmental groups and others that played a constructive role in this process.

Plug in America likes the increase so much, they've decided to take some of the credit for the move (see their statement after the jump). The Auto Alliance's Dave McCurdy wrote a column on Grist that starts with the words, "Today is a good day." With everyone so darn happy about this, what's the downside? I'm sure we'll start seeing the negatives expressed sooner rather than later. You got one?

[Source: Ford, PIA, Grist, White House]
Photo by Perantau Sepi Lodge. Licensed under Creative Commons license 2.0.

PRESS RELEASES:

STATEMENT ON ONE NATIONAL STANDARD FOR FUEL ECONOMY

NOTE TO EDITOR: The following is a statement from Ford President and CEO Alan Mulally regarding President Barack Obama's announcement of one national standard for fuel economy:

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 19. – "We are pleased President Obama is taking decisive and positive action as we work together toward one national standard for vehicle fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions that will benefit the environment and the economy. Today's announcement signals the achievement of a crucial milestone – an agreement in principle on a national program for increased fuel economy and reduced greenhouse gases.

This national program will allow us to move forward toward final regulations that all stakeholders can support. We salute the cooperative efforts of the Obama Administration, the state of California, environmental groups and others that played a constructive role in this process.

The framework of the national program will give us greater clarity, certainty and flexibility to achieve the nation's goals. We will continue to work with the federal agencies to finalize the standards that we are committed to meeting."

Plug In America Claims Another Victory: Obama Calls for National Fuel Efficiency Standard

Advocacy Group Had Urged Obama to Take the Action

Great minds think alike -- in this case, President Barack Obama and members of Plug In America.

President Obama today announced a plan to extend California's vehicle emissions standards to the entire nation, following Plug In America's April 2009 campaign asking him to do just that.

When other environmental organizations simply were urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to grant California a waiver allowing it to adopt stricter tailpipe requirements than federal regulations, thousands of Plug In America supporters e-mailed the White House and the E.P.A. asking them to give all Americans the same tools to reduce pollution.

California is the only state that's allowed to set stricter tailpipe emissions regulations than the federal government, and other states can choose to follow California or federal regulations. At least 13 other states are set to adopt California's standards if a waiver is granted, which is expected to come from the E.P.A. in the next few months.

Now, however, all states will be required to meet vehicle emissions goals that are nearly identical to California's by 2016. The auto industry has signaled that it will drop lawsuits and other opposition to California's requirements in response to the federal action.

"Plug In America took it one step further than other environmental organizations because our members have been driving the plug-in cars and trucks that we know can clean up emissions much faster than most people realize," Plug In America co-founder and board member Sherry Boschert said Tuesday, "We are extremely pleased that President Obama also sees that we can accelerate change in the auto industry."

Plug In America, based in California, is the nation's leading nonprofit plug-in vehicle advocacy organization. It was instrumental in boosting federal economic stimulus funding for plug-in vehicles and infrastructure from $2 billion to $14.4 billion earlier this year.

"With this action and President Obama's pledge to put 1 million plug-in hybrids on the road by 2015, we are off to a good start," said Boschert, author of Plug-In Hybrids: The Cars that Will Recharge America. "Now we need to put the pedal to the metal and exceed those goals so we can rapidly get our country's transportation off of oil and reduce the climate crisis."

The New York Times reported that the effect of President Obama's announcement "will be a single new national standard that will create a U.S. car and light truck fleet that is almost 40 percent cleaner and more fuel-efficient by 2016 than it is today, with an average of 35.5 miles per gallon."

About Plug In America: Plug In America is leading the nation's plug-in vehicle movement. The nonprofit organization works to accelerate the shift to plug-in vehicles powered by clean, affordable, domestic electricity to reduce our nation's dependence on petroleum and improve the global environment. For more information: http://www.pluginamerica.org.


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