Where President Obama "shops"

 Safeway: U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at the Safeway Distribution Center, on February 18, 2014 in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.

President Obama on Tuesday called upon the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Transportation to boost fuel efficiency in heavy trucks. The president wants the new standards to be in place by 2016, which, according to Sandeep Kar, the director of commercial vehicle research for Frost and Sullivan, is "a very, very aggressive timeline."

On top of that, developing technology to boost fuel efficiency won't be inexpensive. The president pointed to how successfully the auto industry adopted new fuel-efficiency standards, but Gary Mateer, an analyst with IHS, says that comparison is flawed. Every year, car companies sell around 13 million cars in the U.S.

Truck manufacturers? They sell around 180,000.

"So, you’ve got a big increase you’ve got to spread across a very small base," Mateer says.

Many manufacturers and trucking organizations are backing the president's plan, but Phil Byrd, the chairman of the American Trucking Associations, says he has some concerns about the timing. In the most recent State of the Union, the president called 2014 his "year of action" – a year in which he intends to do as much as he can without Congress. 

He made today's announcement at a Safeway distribution center in Upper Marlboro, Md.

Which got us thinking -- where the President makes his annoucements has political implications, too. In this "year of action," where else has the president been stopping? And, as the case may be, shopping?

1. Costco

At a talk about a living minimum wage at a Costco in Lanham, Maryland. Costco cookies included.

2. A farm

On February 14, the President spent a few hours at a Los Banos farm to talk about the government’s response to the California drought -- a far ways from the White House garden.

3. Hollywood

The President toured the Dreamworks studio in Glendale, California on November 26. He gave a speech about the economy -- and he also told the audience that The Godfather was one of his five favorite movies. And made a Marlon Brando joke, too.

4. A steel plant

After talking about retirement at the U.S. Steel plant in West Mifflin, Pennsylvania on January 29, 2014. Wearing a personalized hard hat.

5. G.E.

The President spoke to guests gathered for a rally at General Electric's gas engines plant on January 30, 2014 in Waukesha, Wisconsin. No jacket; sleeves rolled up.

About the author

David Gura is a reporter for Marketplace, based in the Washington, D.C. bureau.

Comments

I agree to American Public Media's Terms and Conditions.
With Generous Support From...