The Action-Hero-in-Chief imposes new national fuel and CO2 standards


President Obama's image as some sort of action hero busting through governmental gridlock to push through his agenda at warp speed will get another boost today when he is joined by the real-life Terminator in announcing plans to shorten the timeline for car and truck manufacturers to reduce emissions and increase the fuel economy of the nation's auto fleet. Governor Schwarzenegger (ne Terminator) is expected to be on hand to confirm that his state has agreed to temporarily relax its state regulations and abide by a uniform nationwide standard. (Eventually, all states will have to meet the the current California regs.) This will alleviate the carmakers of the need to customize vehicles to meet a variety of state-level emission and efficiency regulations.

The breakthrough comes after years during which the issue had bogged in political wrangling between the Bush administration, California and the car companies. Backed by Detroit, the administration had repeatedly tried to block California's EPA waiver for stricter fuel and emission standards, even as 13 other states and the District of Columbia angled to impose their own me-too standards. Days after taking office, Obama ordered the EPA to re-evaluate the situation and hammer out a solution. In fairness, Detroit's recent weakened financial position certainly removed one major obstacle to compromise.