Release: Sanders Welcomes New Auto Emission Curbs

WASHINGTON, May 18 - Senator Bernie Sanders today welcomed reports that President Barack Obama will make all cars and small trucks sold in America meet strong anti-pollution rules first adopted by Vermont, California and other states.

The states had been blocked by the Environmental Protection Agency during the administration of President George W. Bush from enforcing laws that were tougher than national standards.

"President Obama is boldly moving us in the right direction," said Sanders, a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. "The Bush administration sided with polluters and failed to get out of the way of states like Vermont that wanted to do the right thing. Now, President Obama is putting the entire country behind the effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions."

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. Obama reportedly is planning to go further and issue a single rule combining the state emissions rules with the federal fuel economy standard overseen by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Under the measure, cars and light trucks sold in the United States will be roughly 30 percent cleaner and more fuel-efficient by 2016.