Jan 27, 2009

World - US;Obama on emissions

WASHINGTON: Plunging into energy policy, President Barack Obama is poised to give U.S. states a freer hand in curbing emissions from cars, and to get his government moving on fuel-efficiency standards that could remake the auto industry.

Mr. Obama will announce his plans on Monday at the White House, according to officials familiar with the details who spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid pre-empting the President.

In one key move, Mr. Obama is aiming toward letting California and other states set their own tailpipe emission standards.

And in the other, Mr. Obama will order the Transportation Department to enact short-term rules on how automakers can improve fuel efficiency of their new models based on a 2007 law.

The law requires that by 2020, new cars and trucks meet a standard of about 13 km per litre, a 40 per cent increase over the status quo. But the Bush administration did not set regulations in support of that law

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