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AP Story Section

January 26, 2009

States may gain power over emissions standards

WASHINGTON (AP) — Plunging into energy policy, President Barack Obama is poised to give states a freer hand in curbing emissions from cars, and to get his government moving on fuel-efficiency standards that could remake the auto industry.

Obama will announce his plans Monday at the White House, according to officials familiar with the details who spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid pre-empting the president.

The attention to energy comes as Obama heads into his first full week as president, with an agenda dominated by economic woes and a push to get a huge stimulus plan through Congress.

In one key move, Obama is aiming to let California and other states set their own tailpipe emission standards, a tool for reducing the gases, principally carbon dioxide, that contribute to global warming.

And in the other, Obama will order the Transportation Department to enact short-term rules on how automakers can improve fuel efficiency of their new models based on a 2007 law.

On car emissions, the Clean Air Act gives California special authority to regulate vehicle pollution because the state began regulating such pollution before the federal government did. But a federal waiver is still required; if the waiver is granted, other states can choose to adopt California’s standards or the federal ones.

But in 2007 the Bush administration’s Environmental Protection Agency denied California’s request, gaining praise from the auto industry but touching off a storm of investigations and lawsuits from Democrats and environmental groups who contended the denial was based on political instead of scientific reasons.

California’s proposed restrictions would force automakers to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent in new cars and light trucks by 2016.

At least 13 other states — Arizona, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington — have already adopted California’s standards, and they have been under consideration elsewhere, too.

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  • Inside bin Laden’s lair with SEAL Team Six

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    Just about every contingency the 25 commandos trained for came at them, rapidly, chaotically and dangerously, in their lunge for Osama bin Laden.

    May 5, 2011

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    February 3, 2009

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    February 3, 2009

  • Bush first visit to future Dallas home DALLAS (AP) — Former President George W. Bush has made his first visit to the $2.1 million Dallas house that he’ll soon call home.

    January 28, 2009

  • Doctor says octuplets appear healthy BELLFLOWER, Calif. (AP) — Newborn octuplets in Southern California are a feisty bunch that appear healthy even at nine weeks premature, a doctor said Tuesday.

    January 28, 2009

  • Austin program works to restore wildlife habitat AUSTIN (AP) — Patricia Roberts-Miller says her yard was a boring swath of grass when she and her family moved into their North Austin home three years ago.

    January 28, 2009

  • TI to shed 3,400 jobs by September Texas Instruments Inc., which makes chips for cell phones and other gadgets, said Monday it will cut 3,400 jobs because demand has slackened amid a slowing economy.

    January 27, 2009

  • Elder Bush: Son held to principles after attacks NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Former President George H.W. Bush says he’s proud of how his son held to his principles during his presidency and kept the U.S. safe after the 2001 terror attacks.

    January 27, 2009

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