GM, Toyota and Chrysler side with White House in battle with California over fuel standards, and postpones split of automotive industry

The administration is challenging California's long-standing authority to release pipeline emissions under the Clean Air Act, effectively giving it significant power over fuel mileage.

John Bozzella, president of the Association of Global Automakers and a spokesman for the coalition, said Monday that the intervening companies do not necessarily support a White House proposal that would essentially freeze fuel standards adopted during the Obama administration. But he said the companies support the long-standing principle that the federal government has the "sole purpose" of setting national standards.

Finally, he said, what the group wants is for California and the federal government to compromise on a national set of fuel economy standards ̵[ads1]1; a compromise that has so far been invisible.

"We believe the evidence supports a midfield … We want a unified program that includes California," Bozzella told reporters. in a call Monday, adding that the coalition supports improvements to mileage standards for year over year. "All the parties involved in this know our position."

He said that the decision to intervene in the contentious legal battle "is about how the standard should be applied, not what the standard should be. By participating, we assure the concerns of consumers, car dealers, dealers and manufacturers in this dispute." [19659002] The group of international car manufacturers includes Nissan, Subaru and Hyundai, but one member, Honda, issued a statement that disagreed with the decision.

"Honda is not a participant in this lawsuit and does not contribute any funds that support our trade union activity in this area, "the company said, noting that it has already" fixed "mileage standards through the model year 2026." We have been very clear about wanting to avoid protracted and costly litigation on this issue, which will result in a great deal of regulatory uncertainty. . "

The latest trend comes three months after four major automakers – Ford, Honda, Volkswagen and BMW in North America – entered into a agreement with California to produce ever-more fuel-efficient fleets, and undermine one of the Trump administration's most aggressive climate policy returns.

This compromise between the four companies and the California Air Resources Board came after weeks of secret negotiations. At the time, California's top air pollution regulator, Mary Nichols, said. intended to give car manufacturers flexibility in meeting emission targets without the "massive withdrawal" included in the White House proposal. She said she hoped the Trump administration and other car manufacturers would include the terms of the deal, but that has not yet happened.

The four carmakers, representing about 30 percent of the US car market, said their decision to hike a deal with California was driven by a need for predictability, as well as the desire to reduce compliance costs, keep vehicles affordable for customers and be good environmental managers.

In a statement on Monday, Nichols said the state would not reverse course. [19659002] "We are disappointed by the Association of Global Automakers for hiding behind the Trump administration's skirts and its attacks on public health," she said. "California will continue to fulfill our mandate to meet national air quality standards and continue to work with these automakers committed to a framework that delivers cleaner vehicles that benefit consumers and the environment."

But the "national national standard" that Car companies have said they long to show little sign of becoming a reality, as California administration officials and executives have left talks and instead insulted during this year.

The Trump administration is working to complete its regulatory return, which would freeze mileage requirements for cars and light trucks at about 37 miles per gallon on average, rather than raising them over time to about 51 mpg for 2025 models – the level industry and government agreed during the Obama era. The proposal would also nullify California's long-standing authority to set its own rules under the Clean Air Act, a practice the federal government has supported for decades.

The transportation sector has emerged as the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, and the car's future gas mileage will have a profound effect on the country's carbon footprint.

Greg Dotson, a professor at the University of Oregon School of Law who served as a top Democratic energy and environmental policy officer on the House Energy and Commerce Committee from 1996 to 2014, said in an interview that the fact that car companies join the federal the government's side "adds more firepower to it" and emphasizes the division within the industry.

But Dotson added that there is ample evidence that Congress has allowed California to set its own vehicle emissions standards, even when it was clear they would affect gas mileage. And he noted that while the George W. Bush administration was trying to write federal waivers of California standards in the Energy Policy Act of 2007, both the House and Senate rejected the move.

"The clear history of this law, from both the executive branch and the legislative branch, all points to the fact that California was not prejudiced," he said.

Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), The top Democrat on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, blasted Monday's decision by some automakers to join the Trump administration.

"To say that I am disappointed is an understatement, especially given the number of times these companies have personally told me that they want to avoid costly litigation and uncertainty in the law," Carper said in a statement. the administration's reckless and illegal proposals, these companies are actively challenging the rights of states to set their own emission standards and tackle the climate crisis. "

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