Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Fuel Standards

Certainly I'm glad to see Obama embrace the California fuel standards and push to force the auto industry to adhere to them. This will lower emissions by 40% and create 35.5 mpg standards. This is great.

I'm less confident that it really matters in fighting climate change. It's a first step. And an important and necessary one. But what happens when California or some other state pushes the envelope ever further? Do they have that right? It still prioritizes the individual vehicle and until that changes, we can't effectively fight climate change.

Nonetheless, Obama has already done more for environmental issues than any president since Jimmy Carter. Future historians will look at that gap--with Reagan, Bush, Clinton, and W--and see a huge failure in leadership.