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California stops buying from automakers that support Trump in emissions battle

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Automakers will soon be feeling California’s wrath for their decision to back President Trump in an emissions battle with the state.

General Motors, Toyota, Fiat Chrysler, and other automakers were targeted by California Gov. Gavin Newsom after they decided to support the Trump administration’s ruling against California setting its own emissions standards.

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“Carmakers that have chosen to be on the wrong side of history will be on the losing end of CA’s buying power,” the Democrat governor tweeted recently, announcing that the state “will stop purchasing vehicles from carmakers that have refused to protect our air & chosen to follow the regressive ways of @realDonaldTrump.”

The ban, which is set to begin in January, was in angry reaction to the companies’ split from Ford Motor, Honda, Volkswagen, and BMW, which all reached a separate deal with California on nationwide emissions standards.

“Ensuring that America’s vehicles are efficient, safe and affordable is a priority for us all,” a statement by the companies read, as the automakers agreed to stricter fuel standards set by the state, planning to produce cars with a minimum of 50 miles per gallon by 2026,  standards pushed by former President Obama.

Trump, who contends the current standard of 37 mpg should hold until 2026, fired back in an angry tweet at the time, saying that Henry Ford would be “very disappointed.”

In September, the Trump administration revoked California’s authority to set its own standard and prompted a lawsuit by the state and 23 others over the stripping away of the waiver, which was granted under the Clean Air Act.

The California Department of General Services announced in a statement that only electric or hybrid sedans would now be allowed to be purchased by state agencies.

According to Fox Business:

According to data from the California Department of General Services, compiled by Cal Matters, California spent $74 million on its fleet of passenger vehicles last year. The state’s decision could hit GM hard: In 2018, it spent about $270 million on GM-owned Chevrolet vehicles. Comparatively, it spent just $3.6 million on vehicles from Toyota and $3 million on Fiat Chrysler.

A GM spokesperson told The New York Times that California is essentially shooting itself in the foot, however, as its decision will eliminate its ability to get the low-cost electric vehicles it needs for meeting its own standards.

“Removing vehicles like the Chevy Bolt and prohibiting GM and other manufacturers from consideration will dramatically reduce California’s choices for affordable, American-made electric vehicles and limit its ability to reach its goal of minimizing the state government’s carbon footprint, a goal that GM shares,” GM said in a statement. “GM is committed to an all-electric future which is why we support California’s initiative to electrify their fleet.”

Frieda Powers

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