White House re­jects au­tomak­ers’ plea for a deal with Cal­i­for­nia

Lodi News-Sentinel - - BUSINESS - By Anna M. Phillips

WASH­ING­TON — The White House is mov­ing for­ward with plans to sig­nif­i­cantly weaken ve­hi­cle pol­lu­tion stan­dards, re­ject­ing a last­minute ap­peal to Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump by some of the world’s largest car man­u­fac­tur­ers to restart ne­go­ti­a­tions with Cal­i­for­nia.

White House deputy press sec­re­tary Judd Deere said Fri­day that Cal­i­for­nia’s top air qual­ity reg­u­la­tor had failed to pro­pose a “pro­duc­tive al­ter­na­tive” to the ad­min­is­tra­tion’s plan to ease re­quire­ments for tailpipe emis­sions and fuel econ­omy stan­dards.

The ad­min­is­tra­tion’s pro­posal would undo one of the most sig­nif­i­cant en­vi­ron­men­tal reg­u­la­tions put in place un­der Pres­i­dent Barack Obama — rules that sought to cut down on ve­hi­cle emis­sions, im­prove fuel ef­fi­ciency and fore­stall the worst ef­fects of cli­mate change.

The reg­u­la­tions re­quire car man­u­fac­tur­ers to build in­creas­ingly ef­fi­cient ve­hi­cles so that by 2025 the na­tion’s cars and trucks would av­er­age more than 50 miles per gal­lon.

Af­ter au­tomak­ers com­plained that the Obama stan­dards were too strict, the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion de­cided to rewrite the reg­u­la­tions. But the re­sults were too ex­treme even for the car man­u­fac­tur­ers. On Thurs­day, 17 ma­jor au­tomak­ers in­clud­ing Gen­eral Mo­tors, Ford, Nissan and Toy­ota, asked Trump in a let­ter to re­open talks with Cal­i­for­nia, which has au­thor­ity un­der the Clean Air Act to set its own tailpipe emis­sion reg­u­la­tions.

They warned the pres­i­dent that his ad­min­is­tra­tion’s plan to weaken car pol­lu­tion reg­u­la­tions and fuel ef­fi­ciency stan­dards would hurt car com­pa­nies’ bot­tom lines and could pro­duce “un­ten­able” in­sta­bil­ity.

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