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GM changes course, no longer backs Trump’s crusade against California emissions rules

Elections have consequences. GM has announced it will reverse course, and no longer back the Trump administration’s effort to bar California from setting its own emissions rules.

GM CEO Mary Barra said in a letter to environmental groups that the company is “immediately withdrawing from the preemption litigation and inviting other automakers to join us.” She added that “the ambitious electrification goals of the president-elect, California, and General Motors are aligned, to address climate change by drastically reducing automobile emissions.”

The Trump administration’s watering down of federal emissions regulations, and its attempt to eliminate states’ rights to set their own more stringent standards, divided the auto industry. In 2019, Ford, Honda, Volkswagen and BMW struck a compromise with the California Air Resources Board, while GM, Toyota and Fiat Chrysler sided with Trump.

California and 22 other states and environmental groups challenged the administration in court, setting off a legal battle that might have lasted for years, but has now been rendered moot by the election of Joe Biden. It is surely no coincidence that GM announced a greatly accelerated electrification strategy last week, including plans to launch 30 new EV models by the end of 2025.

Barra said she is “confident that the Biden Administration, California, and the US auto industry, which supports 10.3 million jobs, can collaboratively find the pathway that will deliver an all-electric future.”

Sources: Automotive News, New York Times

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