President Obama told the Environmental Protection Agency on Monday to reconsider California's request to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from cars. Senator Bernie Sanders applauded the president for setting in motion the process of reversing the climate policies of former President George W. Bush. Obama signed an executive order directing the EPA to reconsider a waiver that would let Vermont and other states set stronger automobile emission and fuel efficiency standards than the federal government has set. "I am glad President Obama is moving us in the right direction," said Sanders, a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. "There is little time to spare because for far too long the Bush administration sided with polluters and failed to get out of the way of states that want to help the environment. Now, I expect the EPA to let states like Vermont take the strong measures necessary to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions."
The president also directed the Department of Transportation to move forward by March with vehicle fuel efficiency standards for 2011.
Obama also directed the federal government in general to become more energy efficient.
But the EPA waiver may have the most far-reaching impact.
In a letter last Dec. 5, Sanders and other senators urged Obama to reverse the Bush administration and grant a waiver to allow Vermont, California and other states to do more than federal standards require.
The letter asserted that the waiver "will not by itself solve the challenge of global warming. But by moving quickly to assure that EPA reconsiders California's waiver request, you have the opportunity to begin reducing global warming pollution, to move the nation away from our dependence on imported oil, and to restore American leadership on the issue of global warming."
To read the entire letter, click here.
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