GM Recognizes California’s Power to Set Vehicle Emissions Rules

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WASHINGTON, Jan.9 (Reuters) – General Motors Co (GM.N) on Sunday announced that it had agreed to recognize California’s power to set emission standards for vehicles under the Clean Air Act.

The move will make the Detroit automaker eligible for state of California government fleet purchases, GM said.

The automaker pledged to recognize California’s authority in a letter to California Governor Gavin Newsom. GM said in the letter that it was “committed to complying with California regulations.”

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Shortly after Joe Biden was elected president, GM overturned in November 2020 and no longer supported the then Trump administration’s efforts to prevent California from establishing its own rules. emissions.

“GM joins California in our fight for clean air and reduced emissions as part of the company’s pursuit of a zero-emission future,” Newsom said. “This agreement will help accelerate California’s commitment to the forefront of the fight against the climate crisis.”

GM in January announced plans to eliminate tailpipe emissions from new light-duty vehicles by 2035. In June, GM increased global spending on electric and autonomous vehicles to $ 35 billion through 2025, or 30 % more than its previous forecast.

“We are committed to working with California to achieve a fair transportation future,” said GM Global Public Policy Chief Omar Vargas.

In November 2019, California announced plans to halt all purchases of new vehicles for state government fleets from GM, Toyota (7203.T) and other automakers backing former President Donald Trump. in the battle against tailpipe emissions.

California said it purchased $ 58.6 million worth of General Motors vehicles between 2016 and 2018.

In April, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said it was set to restore California’s legal authority to establish strict rules on vehicle emissions and warrants for zero-emission vehicles.

In July, 16 Republican state attorneys general urged the EPA to reject California’s reestablishment of authority. “The Golden State is not a golden child,” they wrote.

GM previously backed the overall emission reductions in California’s 2019 deal with rivals Ford Motor (FN), Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE), Honda (7267.T) and others, but asked the Biden administration to give automakers more flexibility to meet carbon reduction targets.

California plans to ban the sale of new gasoline-powered passenger vehicles from 2035, a move the Biden administration refuses to endorse. Biden called for 50% of new vehicles sold by 2030 to be electric or plug-in hybrids.

Last month, the EPA finalized new vehicle emissions requirements through 2026, which reversed Trump’s backtrack on car pollution reductions and will accelerate the United States’ shift to more electric vehicles.

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Reporting by David Shepardson Editing by Chris Reese

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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