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Pallone Lauds President Obama's Action on Fuel Efficiency Standards

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Pallone Lauds President Obama's Action on Fuel Efficiency Standards

U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, today lauded President Obama's directive to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reconsider a waiver from California that would have allowed the state to set strict automobile emission and fuel efficiency standards. The waiver, which was rejected by the Bush administration in December 2007, was supported by New Jersey and 12 other states.

The president also ordered the U.S. Department of Transportation to issue guidelines in order to ensure that the automobile industry is prepared to meet new vehicle fuel efficiency standards that begin to take effect in 2011. A 2007 law, supported by Pallone, requires all vehicles meet fuel efficiency standards of 35 miles per gallon by 2020.

The New Jersey congressman issued the following response to President Obama's action:

"President Obama signaled a dramatic shift in our nation's environmental policy this morning when he proclaimed that science will dictate his administration's actions on global warming. This is a refreshing change from eight years of the Bush administration blocking any effort to reverse the dangerous effects global warming is having on our planet.

"I commend the president for directing the EPA to reconsider the Bush administration's unfortunate rejection of a waiver that would allow New Jersey and 13 other states to set stricter automobile emissions standards than the federal rules. These states are true leaders in efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. I am confident the Bush administration's action will be reversed so that states like New Jersey can move ahead with their worthy efforts to confront global warming head on.

"While Congress passed landmark fuel efficiency standards in 2007, the Bush administration dragged its feet in setting the guidelines. President Obama's directive today sends a strong message to the automobile industry that it must begin the process of retooling its vehicles so that it can meet the new standards in two years. Such innovation is not only good for our planet, but also for American automakers."

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