President Obama & State Emission Standards

President Obama & State Emission Standards

Julie Enzweiler

On January 26, 2009 President Obama announced that emission standards could be decided at a state level. This decision has spurred on an extremely heated debate online among all communities.

buzz about emission standards

Forty-two percent are positive towards President Obama’s decision, predominately driven by the Environmental communities, while 44% are negative.

consumer sentiment on emission standards

Consumers provide in-depth reasoning behind their belief on reversing the Bush administration’s emissions ruling; however, there is a significant amount of confusion on the number of potential emission standards the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM’s) would need to adhere to. Most consumers believe that 50 state standards would be possible, while a few believe the limit is two standards (EPA & CARB). The American people are seeking clarity on this topic either from the Obama administration, EPA or the OEM’s.

Below is a list of consumer positive and negative opinion on this topic:


  • Promotes innovation
  • Creates jobs
  • Lowers fuel consumption
  • Reduces dependency on foreign oil
  • Two (2) standards (EPA & CARB)
  • Helps the environment (expands lives, cleaner air, climate change)
  • Suggests OEM’s adhere to most stringent requirements & apply to all vehicles


  • Hurts the economy even more
  • Kills the automotive industry
  • Additional taxpayer funding needed
  • 50 different state standards possible
  • Pay significantly more for a new vehicle
  • Produces cars consumers do not want by forcing smaller vehicles on the market, when demand is for larger vehicles
  • Limits vehicle selection
  • Lowers vehicle performance
  • Billions in R&D for OEM’s
  • Too difficult at a state level and needs to be at federal level
  • Logistical nightmare for all (OEM, Dealer, State, Federal & Owners)
  • More government regulations
  • Lack of electrical power infrastructure
  • Obama paying back campaign supporters

This new direction from Washington will certainly add to the automakers’ current economic strain. Consumers are already anticipating that Honda and Toyota will support this new initiative and push for innovation, while Ford, Chrysler and General Motors are expected to push back. It will be imperative for the Domestic OEM’s to respond to Washington and the public in a delicate manner as they are no longer just potential owners, but also key shareholders.