[JURIST] US President George W. Bush issued an executive order [text] Monday requesting that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the US departments of Agriculture, Energy, and Transportation [official websites] cooperate to begin the regulation of vehicle emissions by the end of his term on January 20, 2009. The order comes as an executive response to last month's Supreme Court ruling [JURIST report] that the EPA has the authority under the Clean Air Act [text; EPA materials] to regulate the emission of "greenhouse gases," such as carbon dioxide, by automobiles. In the past, Bush has insisted that efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions [JURIST news archive; EPA backgrounder] should be voluntary; Monday's executive order is the first compulsory regulation that Bush has endorsed.
Last month, in response to the Supreme Court ruling, Bush urged Congress [JURIST report] to adopt his proposed targets for alternative fuel use [White House energy policy materials] to combat greenhouse gas emissions. His plan includes adoption of
a mandatory fuel standard that insists upon using 35 billion gallons of alternative fuels by 2017, which will reduce our gasoline usage by 20 percent and halt the growth in greenhouse gases that emanate from automobiles.US environmental group Environmental Defense [advocacy website] responded to Monday's order with a statement [text] that said "the initiative will fall far short of fixing the climate problem if it does not include a firm cap on carbon." AP has more.