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Obama Orders Higher Fuel Efficiency by 2020

Posted January. 28, 2009 07:06,   


U.S. President Barack Obama has signed an executive order for the automotive industry to produce cars with higher fuel efficiency, an act which is expected to bring substantial changes to the global car and energy market.

After signing the order Monday morning at the White House, Obama asked the Transportation Department to design a guideline requiring American automakers to raise the fuel efficiency of cars to an average of 35 miles (56.3 kilometers) per gallon (3.79 liters), or 14.9 kilometers per liter, by 2020, according to the Associated Press.

He also ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to reconsider an environmental regulation enacted under the Bush administration that refused to allow 14 states to independently impose controls on emissions stricter than federal standards.

The New York Times said Obama’s move toward tougher emissions controls and fuel efficiency standards, two of his major presidential pledges, as a prelude to a massive repudiation of the environment policies of his predecessor George W. Bush, who was less aggressive on stopping global warming.

“The days of Washington dragging its heels are over, and we are ready to lead the fight against global warming,” he told a news conference, saying his goal is not to burden the auto industry but to help it prepare for the future.

In contrast, Republicans and the car industry warn that the new standards on green cars could substantially hurt the sector that is already suffering from the global economic downturn.

In Seoul, a source from the Korean auto industry said, “Though the Korean auto industry might not be a leader in green car technology, its continuous improvement makes us hopeful that we can soon be on a par with our Japanese and German counterparts.”

“We cannot be too optimistic about the current situation, but nor should we worry since our efforts can create new opportunities.”