Barack Obama announced a drastic change in the nation’s energy policy today, beginning with an executive order allowing states to raise their fuel efficiency standards. "America will not be held hostage to dwindling resources,” Obama said. “Today I announce the first steps on our journey to energy independence.” The first of those steps: telling the EPA to review requests from 15 states to tighten fuel efficiency standards.
California and 14 other states attempted to tighten efficiency standards during the Bush administration, but were stymied by federal regulators. “Our nation's automakers are struggling—drastically restructuring and shedding jobs just to stay afloat,” complained a rep for John Boehner of Ohio. “And now they are being forced to spend billions of dollars to comply with California's emissions standards.”