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article imageGM pulls out of Trump lawsuit to ban California emissions rules

By Karen Graham     Nov 23, 2020 in Politics
In a letter to 11 environmental groups on Monday, General Motors Chairman and CEO Mary Barra announced that the company is pulling out of the Trump administration's lawsuit to end California's right to set its own clean-air standards.
Barra also urged other automakers to join its departure while throwing its full support behind the incoming Biden administration, according to Auto Blog.
"President-elect Biden recently said, 'I believe that we can own the 21st-century car market again by moving to electric vehicles.' We at General Motors couldn't agree more," the letter reads. "We are inspired by the President-elect's Build Back Better plan which outlines a clear intention to expand vehicle electrification in the United States, create one million jobs, install 550,000 charging stations and position American auto workers and manufacturers to win the race for electrification."
General Motors, along with Fiat Chrysler, and Toyota, plus a trade association called the Association of Global Automakers, ended up siding with the Trump administration in its lawsuit in October 2019 trying to ban states from setting their own emissions rules.
The Trump administration's animosity toward California's emissions standards goes back to 2018 and Trump's plan to roll back Obama-era environmental rules that he claimed were holding back the U.S. economy. At that time Trump said the rules "are no longer appropriate and reasonable" beyond 2020.
Trump even threatened to cut federal funding to California if they didn't comply with the administration's proposed federal fuel emissions standards, So in July 2019, Ford, Honda, BMW, and Volkswagen worked out a deal with California to continue making vehicles that met California's standards, blindsiding and enraging the White House, which declared the move a "PR stunt."
In any case, with automakers choosing sides with either Trump or California, a deep rift developed within the auto industry, yet, Barra's open letter may offer a way for the industry to patch things up while providing a way forward for the Biden administration, according to CNET.
Barra also sent the letter to Mary Nichols, head of California's Air Resources Board, the state’s air pollution regulator. "We believe the ambitious electrification goals of the President-elect, California, and General Motors are aligned,” Barra said in the letter, per the Associated Press.
More about General motors, emissions standards, California, Trump lawsuit, Automakers
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