Home>Articles>Five Car Makers Back Biden Decision To Allow California’s Stricter Auto Emissions

Democratic presidential candidate VP. Joe Biden delivers remarks on the Trump administration's recent actions in Iraq in New York City, NY, Jan. 07, 2020. (Photo: Ron Adar/Shutterstock)

Five Car Makers Back Biden Decision To Allow California’s Stricter Auto Emissions

Announcement is only the latest chapter in the ongoing emissions standards saga playing out since 2019

By Evan Symon, June 9, 2022 4:26 pm

Earlier this week, Ford, Volkswagen, BMW, Honda and Volvo announced that they would be backing President Joe Biden’s decision to allow California to set their own stricter emissions standards for vehicles despite ongoing challengers from some lawmakers and states in favor of a federal standard emissions system.

For years, especially during the Trump administration, GM, along with Toyota and Fiat Chrysler, sided with the federal government in backing a uniform federal emissions standards rather than states, such as California, having differing, tougher standards. Former President Trump and the EPA attempted to revoke California’s standards in September of 2019, only for former California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to sue the EPA days later. By October 2019, car companies had largely settled on whether they supported the Federal standards or the California standards, leading to many Californian lawmakers to speak out against the brewing battle. The next month, the state halted all purchases of new vehicles from the companies backing the federal standards, costing GM tens of millions in sales.

In December 2019, the Trump administration tried to remove the lawsuit, only for it to end up in litigation going into 2020. That September, Governor Gavin Newsom signed an Executive Order phasing out all new gas-powered vehicle sales in California by 2035, further drawing a line in the sand on the combustable engine emissions. However, following President Joe Biden’s victory in November 2020, car makers who had backed the federal order largely shifted plans, instead backing California’s standards as a result in an attempt to possibly regain ground in things like California government vehicle sales.

By January 2022, all car makers had officially backed California’s authority to set new Clean Air Act vehicle emissions standards, leaving only the EPA in the way of returning to the old, state-level decision making. By March, the EPA finally announced that California could have their own emissions standards once again. In response to this, lawsuits were filed with 17 states, including Georgia, Ohio, and Texas, jointly suing the EPA to end this, while 19 states and the District of Columbia sided with California in embracing the Golden State’s standard instead.

All of this culminated in the five car makers taking a side once again in the emission standards fight as high gas prices, climate change, the logistics of importing and exporting cars, and other factors contribute to the growing complexity of the issue. The five agreed with California that they will follow California standards instead of US federal standards to help ensure  a level playing field.

“While the Automobile Manufacturers are committed to the stringent framework standards even if the Waiver Decision is vacated, their competitors are not, and the Automobile Manufacturers thus have a significant interest in ensuring that California’s regulatory authority applies to all automakers to enable a level playing field,” said the five automakers earlier this week.

The car companies also want to prepare for new electric car laws and projected growth in the coming decades, including California’s plan to phase out the sale of gas-powered vehicles by 2035, Biden’s federal goal to have half of new car sales by 2030 be electric. and the EPA’s new emission rules that are pushing for a 28.3% reduction in vehicle emissions by 2026.

“The stricter California standards have hit a huge snag, but a lot of states are falling on their side too. But, just like a lot of these changes to cars in the past, this is out of necessity, as if the $8 a gallon prices in California aren’t scary enough. And the federal and California standards need to be agreed upon soon.”

Lawsuit results  are expected to change up where California and federal standards are at in the coming months.
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10 thoughts on “Five Car Makers Back Biden Decision To Allow California’s Stricter Auto Emissions

  1. Instead of phasing out ICE automobiles we need to phase out Gavin Newsom and his band of climate-change progressives.

  2. First off, only 6% of man-made CO2 emissions are from cars. The rest is from industry, agriculture, shipping, aircraft, etc.
    Second, where do you think the electricity is coming from to charge cars at night? From gas and coal fired power plants, so the cars aren’t zero emission at all.
    Third, the materials to manufacture huge, heavy batteries for electric cars come from strip mining. How is that ecologically friendly?
    Battery electric cars are nothing more than a political stunt. Fuel cell cars make a lot more sense from an ecological standpoint.

  3. Disappointed that Ford, Volkswagen, BMW, Honda and Volvo would go along with California’s Democrats lame brain plan to phase out the sale of gas-powered vehicles by 2035 using emission controls to do it. The only alternative will be to buy expensive electric vehicles with toxic batteries using rare earth materials imported from communist China. Where will the electric power come from when Democrats can’t even keep the power on now?

    1. Mario – please… don’t confuse the virtue-signalers with any semblance of LOGIC…
      The power will come if they build all their Quixotic windmills and solar bird-incinerators like that Ivanpah Solar Electric eyesore along the 15 freeway at the CA/AZ border

  4. these environmentalists and corps are cheering for a global tyrannical gov’t – when it comes they will wonder how i came about. This absolute power will come and they will control the electricity, so non-conforming will be punished, obey or be castout.

    Electrical power is the only power they want cause it can be controlled easier for the masses or to the individual.

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