California has entered into a deal with four automakers to produce fuel-efficient cars. The agreement is different from plans the Trump administration is expected to put in place that would relax national emissions standards.
Four of the world’s largest automakers, including Ford, BMW, Honda and Volkswagen, signed the deal with the California Air Resources Board.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom spoke in a conference call with reporters about the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. “Clean air emissions standards … are perhaps the most significant thing this state can do, and this nation can do, to advance those goals,” Newsom said. “The Trump administration is hellbent on rolling them back. They are in complete denialism about climate change.”
The Trump administration is expected to announce a regulatory rollback later this summer. It will eliminate a rule implemented by the Obama administration requiring passenger vehicles to have an average mileage of about 51 miles per gallon by 2025. The administration is also forecasted to try to take away California’s right to set more stringent rules under the Clean Air Act.
Michael Abboud, spokesman for the Environmental Protection Agency, said, “The Trump Administration is pursuing one national standard and certainty for the entire auto market that will provide safe, affordable vehicles for consumers while also improving environmental outcomes.”
Abboud said that California’s announcement of a deal with automakers “a PR stunt that does nothing to further the one national standard that will provide certainty and relief for American consumers.”
Under the California agreement, the four automakers have planned to reach a standard of about 50 miles per gallon by 2026. The deal also allows for the companies to receive credits toward meeting their annual targets by adopting climate-friendly technologies.
Dan Beckner, director of the Safe Climate Campaign at the Center for Auto Safety, says the deal between California and automakers should be more stringent. “If these standards allow all of these loopholes, it isn’t clear that California will create the tough standards that we need to protect the climate and Californians’ health,” Beckner said.