Energy & Environment

California to stop buying from automakers that backed Trump in emissions battle

California has announced plans to stop buying vehicles from automakers that backed President Trump during the state’s battle over whether it can set tougher emissions standards. 

The California Department of General Services issued a statement Friday saying the state plans to end purchases from automakers that have not committed to following California’s tailpipe emission regulations, including General Motors, Toyota and Fiat Chrysler, by January. 

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) tweeted Monday confirming the announcement. 

General Motors, Toyota and Fiat Chrysler have taken the president’s side as he loosens Obama-era restrictions on tailpipe emissions and takes steps to prevent California from having its own regulations. 

The state bought $58.6 million worth of vehicles from General Motors, $55.8 million from Fiat Chrysler and $10.6 million from Toyota between 2016 and 2018, according to Reuters. California buys between 2,000 and 3,000 vehicles a year, The New York Times reported.

California will now obtain vehicles from Ford, Honda, Volkswagen and BMW, the four automakers that have committed to following the state’s regulations, according to the Times.

The Department of Justice issued subpoenas against those four automakers earlier this month, saying if they coordinated, they could violate antitrust laws. 

The state also announced that it plans to stop purchasing sedans that are “solely powered by an internal combustion engine,” except for public safety vehicles.

General Motors said in a statement to The Hill that California’s decision was unfortunate.

“Removing vehicles like the Chevy Bolt and prohibiting GM and other manufacturers from consideration will reduce California’s choices for affordable, American-made electric vehicles and limit its ability to reach its goal of minimizing the state government’s carbon footprint, a goal that GM shares,” spokeswoman Jeannine Ginivan said.

Trump and California have gone head-to-head in the emissions battle, with the administration originally proposing in 2018 a rollback expected to increase petroleum consumption by 500,000 barrels a day. 

The administration has since walked back its proposal to unravel the Obama-era regulations and is now considering mandating a 1.5 percent increase in fuel efficiency.

Thirteen states have adopted California’s emissions standards, and 22 states have joined California in a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency objecting to the president’s restrictions on California’s authority over tailpipe emissions in the state.

Tags Automakers Donald Trump emissions Gavin Newsom
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