motorwayCar dealers and manufacturers in California argued recently about the need for national emission laws, a standard to which all vehicles can be set. While they debated, members of the Obama administration listened in on the proceedings. Could California, home to the Clean Air Act, soon be a standard for the entire country to follow?

National Emission Laws and the Clean Air Act

California’s Clean Air Act allows the state to set its own standards for air pollution. Similar proposed laws have been stymied in the past, but the President urged the EPA to look at the matter again. Shortly thereafter, the White House announced the arrival of a new national emissions policy proposed by Barack Obama.

Proposed National Emission Laws

The proposed national emission standards would cover cars made in 2012 to 2016, saving a projected 1.8 billion barrels of oil in the four-year span. In a statement, President Obama said the rule “provides the clear certainty that will allow these companies to plan for a future in which they are building the cars of the 21st century.”

Do we need national emission laws? Setting such standards could help reduce dependence on oil even as it provides a better environment, two very worthy goals. Sometimes, a little regulation goes a long way.

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