US president, Barack Obama, has announced the first steps of a plan to make the USA energy independent. The plan includes the use of green energy and stricter fuel-efficiency targets for vehicles to reduce dependence on foreign oil.
The energy plan includes a 35 mile per gallon fleet-average fuel economy mandate which must be met by all manufacturers by 2020, with new tighter standards introduced from 2011.
?We must ensure that the fuel-efficient cars of tomorrow are built right here in the United States of America,? President Obama said. ?Our goal is not to further burden an already struggling industry. It is to help America?s auto makers prepare for the future.?
A key part of the plan is the effective reversal of Bush administration policy which had previously rejected applications by California, and other states, to set and regulate tougher tailpipe emissions and efficiency targets independent of US national standards.
Now, President Obama has directed regulators to "move swiftly" on an application by California, and 13 other US states, for tougher environmental standards for vehicles sold in those states. For automakers, who had challenged the California standards and lobbied successfully against them with the previous Bush administration, the only option now is to re-tool for the production of vehicles that meet the higher standards; higher than the national standards.
It is expected that the US Transportation Department will draft interim nationwide regulations that will require car manufacturers to raise fuel-efficiency standards of the vehicles they produce to comply with a 2007 law that the Bush administration chose not to enact. These regulations are expected to now come into force and impact upon vehicles sold in 2011.
Later, new national standards will be drafted which will set an even higher bar on emissions and efficiency for manufacturers to hurdle. With development funds for new models and technologies in short supply, it will not be easy. You can expect to hear of many more model cancellations from the US giants and other manufacturers there.
The plan also includes steps to increase energy efficiency in government buildings, a doubling of the USA?s current green-energy production and the installation of over 4800 kilometers of transmission lines to carry the new energy. The initiative is also hoped to employ 460,000 Americans.
President Obama warned that there was no ?quick fix? for reducing his country's dependence on foreign oil. The government has instigated these measures to control the situation while creating employment in the hopes of strengthening the crumbling US economy.