california waiver

Financial Disclosures Show Why Toyota and GM Sided With Trump's Clean Car Rollbacks to Preserve Profits

Read time: 6 mins

It’s been a bumpy ride for the auto industry in the ongoing battle over clean car regulations and California’s authority to set stricter rules for vehicle emissions. The industry is now divided as several automakers reached a deal over the summer with California to embrace a cleaner emissions standard through 2026, while a coalition of other carmakers recently backed the Trump administration in a lawsuit challenging the administration’s withdrawal of California’s waiver allowing it to set tougher tailpipe pollution controls. That coalition, which includes auto giants like General Motors and Toyota, claims to support “year over year increases in fuel economy” but also opposes California’s authority to set tailpipe emissions standards aligned with that increase.

The announcement by the Toyota and General Motors group was “not surprising, but it’s disappointing,” according to Don Anair, deputy and research director for the Clean Transportation program at Union of Concerned Scientists.

‘Is This About the Oil Industry?’ House Oversight Hearing Explores Big Oil’s Role in Weakening Clean Car Standards

Read time: 6 mins
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

The House Oversight Committee, which last week heard testimony on the oil industry’s efforts to suppress climate science, continued to probe the industry’s deception and influence with a hearing on the Trump administration’s proposed rollbacks of clean car standards — rollbacks that stand to benefit Big Oil at the expense of consumers and the environment.

At Tuesday’s hearing of the Oversight Committee’s Environment subcommittee, the oil industry’s importance in affecting the weaker standards for vehicle fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions was front and center as Republicans led an ultimately unsuccessful effort to adjourn the hearing before witness testimony even began.

During the more than half hour delay, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez raised a question to her Republican colleagues:

4 Automakers Strike Emissions Deal With California, Steering Clear From Trump's Pro-Pollution Agenda

Read time: 3 mins
cars on the golden gate bridge

By Jordan Davidson, EcoWatch. Republished with permission from EcoWatch.

Four automakers from three different continents have struck a deal with California and agreed to adhere to the state's stricter emissions standards, undercutting one of the Trump administration's environmental regulatory rollbacks, according to The New York Times.

Trump Admin Hands Win to Kochs, Stops Clean Car Negotiations With California

Read time: 4 mins
California license plate

The Trump administration just took a big step closer to handing the Koch network one of it biggest wins yet under this presidency. Bloomberg has reported that there will be no deal between the Trump administration and California on fuel efficiency and emissions standards for cars and light vehicles.

This move sets the stage for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to attempt to revoke California's special waiver under the Clean Air Act, which allows the state to set its owns standards that are more stringent than federal standards.

How the Federal Government Came to Control Your Car's Fuel Economy

Read time: 5 mins
Cars wait in line for gas during the 1970s energy crisis
By Brian C. Black, Pennsylvania State University

The Environmental Protection Agency in August announced a plan to freeze fuel economy standards and revoke the ability of California to set more stringent rules than the national ones, prompting a legal showdown between the state and the federal government.

The proposal, which would keep fuel economy at planned 2020 levels, is the most significant step to halt the rise on the mileage standards of the U.S. passenger vehicle fleet in decades.

But how did fuel efficiency even become mandated? After all, manufacturers go to great lengths to analyze the consumer marketplace and build in the most tantalizing features to create top sellers, whether it’s great acceleration or a deep bass sound system. One feature is different, though: Carmakers are legally bound to innovate more efficiency into their vehicles.

Colorado Adopts California Clean Car Standards in Defiance of Trump Admin

Read time: 5 mins
Colorado truck license plate

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper announced Tuesday that his state would join 13 states and the District of Columbia in adopting California’s clean car emissions standards.

Colorado has a choice,” Gov. Hickenlooper said in a statement. “This executive order calls for the state to adopt air quality standards that will protect our quality of life in Colorado. Low emissions vehicles are increasingly popular with consumers and are better for our air. Every move we make to safeguard our environment is a move in the right direction.”

Bill Wehrum Once Denied California's Right to Cut Auto Emissions, and Could Do It Again at EPA

Read time: 11 mins
Bill Wehrum

More than a decade ago, Bill Wehrum, then acting assistant administrator for air and radiation at the US Environmental Protection Agency, successfully fought to deny the state of California the right to set its own standards on greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles.

He is now back in the same position at Trump's EPA, and hoping to try once again to kill the California waiver.

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