White House News: From Peril to Progress

“This moment of peril must be turned to one of progress,” President Barack Obama said this morning, as he signed his first two Presidential Memoranda aimed at getting us on the path to energy independence.

WASHINGTON (RushPRnews) 01/26/09--In what he called “a down payment on a broader and sustained effort to reduce our dependence on foreign oil,” President Obama directed the Department of Transportation (DOT) to establish higher fuel efficiency standards for carmakers’ 2011 model year. The standard, known as Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE), was established in 1975 in the wake of the Arab Oil Embargo.

The second memo paves the way for California and more than a dozen other states to raise emissions standards above and beyond the national standard. They’d asked to do so before, but the Bush administration had denied the request.

“Instead of serving as a partner, Washington stood in their way,” President Obama said. “The days of Washington dragging its heels are over.”

Before he opened his remarks, President Obama took a moment to address the new raft of bad economic news of the past few days — including job cuts at Microsoft, The Home Depot, and Sprint/Nextel.

We will update this post with full remarks shortly.