GM, Toyota, Hyundai back Trump opposition to tougher California fuel standards

Smog hangs over the Los Angeles basin in this WikiMedia photo.

The Trump administration’s efforts to bend California to its will on a variety of fronts have been mixed at best. Last week, for example, a panel of judges from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed yet again that federal funding to state law enforcement agencies couldn’t be linked to their assistance in deporting illegal immigrants. Judges have ruled for the state and against the federal government in cases involving other immigration issues and environmental policies.

But the White House can claim a substantial win on vehicle emissions. Last week, many of the largest automakers in the world sided with President Donald Trump in his view that it’s not good for the U.S. economy for the nation’s largest state to have tougher rules on vehicle emissions and miles per gallon than those set by the federal government.

General Motors, Toyota, Nissan, Mazda, Subaru, Hyundai, Kia and Fiat Chrysler are backing Trump’s attempt to end the waiver that California has had for more than 50 years allowing it to set tougher standards on emissions for vehicles sold in the state. Twelve other states – Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington – have adopted the Golden State’s rules.

The fight was triggered by the Trump administration’s decision to scrap rules set by President Barack Obama that required automakers to have their vehicles average 55 miles per gallon by 2025. This led California Gov. Gavin Newsom to reach out to automakers to seek their voluntary compliance with tougher standards, winning support in July from Ford, Honda, Volkswagen and BMW for a plan under which their fleets would average 50 miles per gallon by 2026 – weaker than what Obama wanted but much tougher than Trump’s rules, which would set 37 miles per gallon as the industry standard.

Newsom said then that he was “very confident” other automakers would accept California’s standards. Instead, the largest automakers in the U.S., Japan and South Korea have sided with Trump in filing arguments with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, which is considering a lawsuit from California and 22 other states seeking to uphold the Obama administration’s fuel-efficiency rules.

The automakers and the National Automobile Dealers Association said that they needed “the certainty that states cannot interfere with federal fuel economy standards.”

Newsom, Brown decry Trump’s global warming skepticism

Obama, Newsom and most climate scientists see requiring higher gas mileage standards as the easiest way to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that build up in the atmosphere and cause global warming. Vehicle emissions in recent years have passed power plant emissions as the single biggest generator of greenhouse gases.

Trump rejects the conventional wisdom about greenhouse gases. As the New York Times reported Saturday, he has “directed the Environmental Protection Agency to roll back nearly every federal policy designed to curb the heat-trapping fossil-fuel pollution that is the chief cause of global warming.”

In the report, Newsom told the Times that the state’s recent history of devastating wildfires was directly related to climate change.

“We’re waging war against the most destructive fires in our state’s history, and Trump is conducting a full-on assault against the antidote,” Newsom said.

Newsom’s predecessor, Jerry Brown, framed the issue even more dramatically in testimony to Congress last week.

“The seas are rising, diseases are spreading, fires are burning, hundreds of thousands of people are leaving their homes,” he said. “California is burning while the deniers fight the standards that can help us all. This is life-and-death stuff.”


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  1. Bogiewheel
    Bogiewheel 4 November, 2019, 13:27

    Is that a recent photo of Los Angeles ? And not just from the fire.

    Reply this comment
  2. Sean
    Sean 5 November, 2019, 13:30

    There is a bit of irony here. Diesel engines were promoted in Europe because the mileage was much better, thereby reducing CO2 emissions. However, when tested on a dynamometer, the emission control systems were altered to minimize NOx production and then reverted to a high performance/high mileage mode which generated more than the allowed NOx emissions in regular driving. In essence, improved fuel mileage came at the expense of NOx emissions. In California, ozone levels increased this decade. NOx emissions when combined with volatile organic hydrocarbons leads to greater ozone production and I wonder if the increased ozone was a consequence of the diesel emissions control system’s slight of hand.

    Reply this comment
  3. Doris
    Doris 8 November, 2019, 08:04

    Says the California thieves that steal from lower incomes!

    Reply this comment
  4. Edward Ryan
    Edward Ryan 8 November, 2019, 12:28

    I’d like to comment on corruption by the California Attorney General’s failure to investigate a formal 75 page complaint on the LAPD Crime-buster Vigilante Facebook scandal matter. This is a serious matter as the Los Angeles criminal justice system skews when it comes to fair justice for all as LA homeless are attacked by LAPD supported vigilantes, then arrested and jailed if the try to fight back in self- defense. Now there is proof of “jury trial rigging “by LA Prosecutor and LAPD Slo for Topanga. Both are members of the secret vigilante Facebook group, and 2 other Vigilante group members as witnesses for a bogus littering trial where Van Nuys Judge Harmond seems to play along by issuing an extreme sentence. LAPD command now spreads disinformation saying LAPD members only posted insults to homeless when the truth is LAPD supplied tracking and other info to vigilante members. The info was used to do violent crimes and community terror stalking onto targeted homeless victims. A homeless advocate and activist for LA political reform was harassed then convicted and incarcerated for months when he was attacked on 12/29/16 in Van Nuys by the same LAPD crew. False police reports were used and judge Mulcahy Van Nuys court prevented the mentioning of vigilante abuse at trial. This happened to Ed Ryan [email protected] who had to flee LA after release because of more vigilante harassment by LAPD connected crews. Ryan’s jaw was smashed by a vigilante attacker wielding a hammer and LAPD refuse to take his complaint and investigate. Ryan now lives in Mass as LA Court court issued a probation violation warrant to further silence him. LA superior Court Presiding Judge, Kevin Brazile has so far ignored Ryan’s comprehensive complaint. Ryan challenges reporters to read the 8/1/18 complaint to Atty Gen Becerra that has plenty of screen shots of captured vigilante and LAPD postings to surely warrant the Cal AG to investigate, but he remains silent on the issue. Also remaining totally silent on this atre LA Mayor Garcetti I’d like to discuss Corruption in Los Angeles as the LAPD Crime-buster vigilante Scandal is being ignored and all LA city Councilors. LA City Atty Furey also is silent even though his long time Deputy Karin Philips is involved and is being reported to Cal BBO flor ethical violations of not disclosing vigilante group membership by entire prosecution team in People v Kevin Perelman , the van Nuys Superior Court jury trial in front of LA Superior Court Harmond that was rigged Atty Philips and LAPD SLO Dines

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Chris Reed

Chris Reed

Chris Reed is a regular contributor to Cal Watchdog. Reed is an editorial writer for U-T San Diego. Before joining the U-T in July 2005, he was the opinion-page columns editor and wrote the featured weekly Unspin column for The Orange County Register. Reed was on the national board of the Association of Opinion Page Editors from 2003-2005. From 2000 to 2005, Reed made more than 100 appearances as a featured news analyst on Los Angeles-area National Public Radio affiliate KPCC-FM. From 1990 to 1998, Reed was an editor, metro columnist and film critic at the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin in Ontario. Reed has a political science degree from the University of Hawaii (Hilo campus), where he edited the student newspaper, the Vulcan News, his senior year. He is on Twitter: @chrisreed99.

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