Five automakers back Biden’s move to allow tougher California auto emissions

Earlier this week, Ford, Volkswagen, BMW, Honda and Volvo announced they would support President Joe Biden’s decision to allow California to set its own tougher emissions standards for vehicles despite continued opponents from some legislators and states in favor of a federal emissions standard. system.

For years, particularly under the Trump administration, GM, along with Toyota and Fiat Chrysler, sided with the federal government in supporting uniform federal emissions standards rather than states, like California, having standards. different and stricter. Former President Trump and the EPA attempted to revoke the California standards in September 2019, only to have former California Attorney General Xavier Becerra sue the EPA days later. By October 2019, automakers had largely decided whether they supported federal standards or California standards, leading many California lawmakers to speak out against the brewing battle. The following month, the state halted all purchases of new vehicles from companies supporting federal standards, costing GM tens of millions of dollars in sales.

In December 2019, the Trump administration attempted to withdraw the lawsuit, only for it to end in litigation through 2020. In September, Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order phasing out all new vehicle sales to gasoline in California by 2035, further draw a line in the sand on combustible engine emissions. However, after President Joe Biden won in November 2020, automakers who had backed the federal order largely changed their plans, supporting California standards instead in a bid to eventually regain ground in things like vehicle sales. of the California government.

By January 2022, all automakers had officially backed California’s authority to set new Clean Air Act vehicle emissions standards, leaving only the EPA on its way back to old decision-making in the state level. In March, the EPA finally announced that California could once again have its own emissions standards. In response to this, lawsuits were filed with 17 states, including Georgia, Ohio and Texas, jointly suing the EPA to end this, while 19 states and the District of Columbia sided with California side to adopt the Golden State standard instead.

All of this has resulted in the five automakers once again taking sides in the fight against emission standards, as high gasoline prices, climate change, car import and export logistics and other factors contribute to the growing complexity of the issue. The five agreed with California that they would follow California standards instead of US federal standards to help ensure a level playing field.

“While automakers have committed to comply with the strict framework standards even if the waiver decision is overturned, their competitors are not, and automakers therefore have a strong interest in ensuring that the regulator of California applies to all automakers to allow for a level playing field,” the five automakers said earlier this week.

Automakers also want to prepare for new electric car laws and projected growth in the coming decades, including California’s plan to phase out the sale of gas-powered vehicles by 2035, the goal Biden’s federal government to have half of new car sales by 2030 be electric. . and new EPA emission rules that push for a 28.3% reduction in vehicle emissions by 2026.

“This is just the latest phase for cars in the United States,” Michigan-based auto industry analyst Kevin Pullman told The Globe on Thursday. 70s in the wake of the oil crisis, the abolition of leaded gasoline in cars following public health concerns, laws requiring airbags, seat belts and reversing cameras to be mandatory in cars , and so many other things have been fought tooth and nail in Washington, Detroit and other places across the country. This shift to better emissions in the shift to going full electric is a bigger change, so the backlash is also bigger.

“California’s stricter standards have encountered a huge problem, but many states are also falling on their side. But, just like many of these changes to cars in the past, it’s out of necessity, as if California’s $8-a-gallon prices weren’t scary enough. And federal and California standards are to be agreed upon soon.

Prosecution results are expected to change where California and federal standards stand in the coming months.

Comments are closed.