President Barak Obama issued two executive orders on Monday, January 26 that taken together will hold embattled automakers to higher fuel standards and the construction of environmentally friendly models sooner than later.
One order directs the Department of Transportation to issue higher fuel-economy standards while the other instructs the Environmental Protection Agency to review the right of states to pass and to enforce their own rules for acceptable greenhouse gas emissions.
In remarks about the two executive orders, President Obama said, "As we move forward, we will fully take into account the unique challenges facing the American auto industry and the taxpayer dollars that now support it. Our goal is not to further burden an already struggling industry; it is to help America's automakers prepare for the future."
While the presidents first five days in office concentrated on national security and economic issues, opening Obama's second week in office with these orders sends a clear message to environmental groups that their interests will not be forgotten.
Automakers support higher standards for fuel-economy set to take effect with the 2011 model year, but oppose state greenhouse gas rules saying the extra layer of specifications will create chaos in the market and cause what the National Automobile Dealers Association has called "irreparable harm" to the beleaguered industry.