General Motors has agreed to recognize the state of California’s authority to set its own stricter emissions regulations.
Per a recent report from Reuters, the commitment means General Motors will be eligible for California government fleet vehicle purchases. It’s estimated that California purchased $58.6 million worth of General Motors vehicles between 2016 and 2018. California accounts for an estimated 12 percent of the U.S. auto market.
“We are committed to working in collaboration with California to achieve an equitable transportation future,” said GM global public policy chief Omar Vargas.
General Motors declared its commitment in a letter to California governor Gavin Newsom. Newsom responded with a statement, saying, “GM is joining California in our fight for clean air and emission reduction as part of the company’s pursuit of a zero-emissions future. This agreement will help accelerate California’s nation-leading commitment to tackling the climate crisis.”
The move is a reversal of General Motors’ previous support for the Trump administration, which in 2019 attempted to pull California’s autonomy in setting its own, stricter emissions standards.
General Motors withdrew its support for the looser restrictions in November of 2020 following Joe Biden’s victory in the U.S. presidential election. The year prior, General Motors was among a group of major automakers, including Toyota and Fiat Chrysler, that supported the Trump administration’s move to roll back fuel economy standards and curb California’s emissions autonomy in favor of a single, nationwide standard.
California, in addition to 22 other states, filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration claiming that the federal government did not have the authority to revoke California’s waiver enabling it to set its own emissions and fuel economy standards.