No, I don't mean Honda, Toyota and VW, snarky.
It looks, simply, that he's applying California standards to the nation. I had always assumed that this would be the case some day. The new national fleet mileage rule for cars and light trucks of 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016. In the odd chance you're wondering, the current national standard is about 25 miles per gallon.
This is a political rope-a-dope. Rather than institute a $2.00 Federal Gas increase - which would have accomplished this goal in the marketplace rather than through government intervention - will put the initial burden on the car manufactures. [Those car manufacturers that are around] In 2016 will happily slide the costs to implement these Federal standards onto your MSRP. So you'll see at least an additional $1,300 added on your next vehicle - but we'll feel good about not paying more tax on gas. That's one tax increase that Obama has dodged, but still gets what he wants.
A nice maneuver. Smoke and mirrors, and there is no real change.