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Obama's "Green Pen" Goes to Work on Bush Policies

January 27, 2009

Nashville, TN – It has been a whirlwind first week for President Obama and for national environmental policy. Mr. Obama has issued executive orders changing eight years of many Bush Administration policies. On Monday, he ordered a review of Environmental Protection Agency rules allowing states to enforce stricter emissions standards, and he moved toward increasing average fleet fuel efficiency to at least 35 miles per gallon by 2020.

Phyllis Cuttino, director of the Pew Environment Group’s U.S. Global Warming Campaign, says the initiatives will benefit Tennesseans.

"It’s going to mean reduced global warming pollution, more than 100 million metric tons per year, and it’s going to reduce Tennessee's consumption of oil, particularly of foreign oil."

This is a win-win for everyone, even Tennessee’s vital auto industry, according to Cuttino.

"It’s to help them become more fuel efficient, more productive, more marketable in the current economic climate. That requires more fuel-efficient cars, because that is what Americans and, frankly, other people around the world want to buy."

Cuttino believes this week’s actions are a down-payment on fulfilling President Obama's campaign promises and proves his administration will play a leadership role on energy and global warming. Opponents say the moves come at a terrible time for the struggling auto industry, which would have to shoulder much of the upfront costs of the new policies.

Dick Layman, Public News Service - TN