The Trump administration has taken steps to stop California from establishing its own laws regarding the fuel efficiency of vehicles. The world’s major automotive companies are choosing either side in this dispute. This information was given by the various companies’ filing with the US appeals court that happened late Monday.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, General Motors Co, Hyundai Motor Co, and Toyota Motor Corp have all sided with Trump in a bid to negate the zero-emissions law. The move has long since been opposed by the State of California itself and 22 others consisting of various environmental groups and other States. This has happened since September this year by way of legal challenges.
These legal challenges were put in place to try and reverse the Trump Administration’s determination. The determination, issued in September, barred the State of California from setting up zero-emission vehicle mandates. A large group of people took exception from this determination and are trying to reverse it.
As the one group readied for war, so did the opposing force. Both the National Automobile Dealers Association and a large group of automakers sent a filing to the US Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia. Within this filing, they backed the current administration’s determination to bar state-determined emissions regulations.
The argument put forward for this intervention is semi-sound. The reasoning was given that vehicle manufacturers need assurances that every state cannot determine their own fuel economy standards. The implication being that one vehicle has the potential to be illegal if you just move from one state to another. While it probably wouldn’t be like that, it’s a tangible argument to make given the circumstances.
The Possible Risks
It’s a bold move from the automakers. The potential backlash from both environmentalists and Democrats alike are both likely and very severe. Either the companies figured they could save more money getting the emission restrictions lowered, or they didn’t think at all.
There is another layer of complexity to this matter. Should the Democrats win the next election and reverse Trump’s actions, the automotive industry would be forced back to the tighter national emissions standards that Barack Obama. It seems like the automakers are gambling that Trump will win the next election and allow them to sell vehicles of lesser emission restrictions for four more years.
Xavier Becerra, Attorney General of California, sent a spokeswoman to talk about the matter. She explained that these actions did nothing to change the state’s resolve to fight to protect its standards. She cited that the courts have previously voted for the state’s right to determine its own standards. They hope that the court would do so again.
A Few “Good” Groups
Even if a large group of automakers joined up with the Trump Administration’s decision, there are ones that willingly accepted the California standards. Automakers like Honda Motors Co, Volkswagen AG, and Ford Motors Co all announced a voluntary deal with California’s emissions rules back in July. It should be noted that they’re not willing to join the bid to challenge the administration’s decision.