Shortly after Donald Trump released his plans to impose new rules on emissions regulations, General Motors and 16 other carmakers asked the President to return to the negotiating table. The Trump emissions regulations, expected to be made public this summer, would freeze mileage standards at about 37 miles per gallon for cars, down from a target of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025.
This drastic contrast in emissions regulations, at least, compared to what had been set by the Obama administration, would cause environmentally conscious states such as California to go against the administration’s decision and continue enforcing their own, stricter rules.
Essentially, what this could lead to is a split in the U.S. auto industry. For a carmaker, this is a nightmare as it would require manufacturing cars that would respect different regulations for one market, leading to regulatory headaches and high development costs.
GM, along with big-name carmakers BMW, Ford, Honda, Mazda, Nissan, Subaru, Volkswagen, and Volvo, wrote a letter to the White House stating that the Trump emissions regulations threaten to cut their profits and produce “untenable” instability in the manufacturing sector.
The automakers sent a similar letter to California Governor Gavin Newsom. In the letter, automakers state that they would like to see a “midway” standard between the current Obama rules and the rollback proposed by Trump.
“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”, said the letter.
The problem is that Newsom is not interested in a “midway” deal. According to him “a rollback of auto emissions standards is bad for the climate and bad for the economy.”
“I applaud the automakers for saying as much in their letter today to the President,” he added. “We should keep working towards one national standard, one that doesn’t backtrack on the progress states like California have made.”
It looks appears we’re about to witness an arm-wrestling match between The White House, the state of California, and the American auto industry. We’ll tell you more about this story as more information comes through.
Source: The New York Times