Automakers warn Trump against emissions freeze, urge California to return to negotiating table
June 7 (UPI) — Seventeen major automobile manufacturers urged President Donald Trump to establish a national standard for fuel economy and resume talks with California to avoid conflict over emissions regulations.
“What works best for consumers, communities, and the millions of U.S. employees that work in the auto industry is one national standard that is practical, achievable, and consistent across the 50 states,” the automakers said in the letter Thursday. “In addition, our customers expect continuous improvements in safety, efficiency, and capability.”
The car companies, which include Ford Motor, BMW, Honda and Porsche, said they support a universal standard as it achieves on-year improvements in fuel economy and encourages companies to adopt alternative powertrains for their vehicles.
“A broadly supported final rule would provide regulatory certainty and enhance our ability to invest and innovate by avoiding an extended period of litigation and instability,” the companies said.
The Trump administration then ended discussions in February with the California Air Resources Board over the rollback standards, stating CARB “failed to put forward a production alternative,” The Washington Post reported.
“We strongly believe the best path to preserve good auto jobs and keep new vehicles affordable for more Americans is a final rule supported by all parties – including California,” the companies said, adding “We encourage both the federal government and California to resume discussions and to remain open to regulatory adjustments that provide the flexibility needed to meet future environmental goals and respond to consumer needs.”
They told Gavin that they would prefer a compromise “between the existing standards and the preferred path outlined in the Environment Protection Agency proposal,” which California wants.
“As we acknowledged earlier this year, CARB failed to put forward a productive alternative, and we are moving forward to finalize a rule with the goal of promoting safer, cleaner, and more affordable vehicles,” White House spokeswoman Judd said in an emailed statement.