GM tells the White House that it will agree to stricter emissions regulations
General Motors announced Wednesday that the Biden government would agree to stricter state regulations on fuel economy and exhaust pollution, similar to what California has already agreed with five other auto companies.
The move is a move by the country’s largest automaker away from its position during the Trump administration when GM chief Mary Barra urged President Donald J. Trump to relax Obama-era auto pollution regulations.
President Biden is trying to reintroduce these restrictions as part of an effort to reduce global warming pollution and hopes to propose new draft auto pollution regulations as early as next month.
Ms. Barra continued to support Mr. Biden’s desire to fully reintroduce or strengthen Obama-era auto pollution standards, which to date are considered to be the strongest policy ever imposed by the federal government to combat climate change. And she also called on the government to supplement federal regulations with provisions that would incentivize car companies that invest in electric vehicles, although it did not specify what those incentives should be.
Just weeks after Mr. Biden’s election, Ms. Barra dropped her company’s support for the Trump administration’s efforts to repeal California’s tailpipe emissions rules. And days after the new president’s inauguration, she announced that her company would only sell zero-emission vehicles after 2035, a goal in line with Mr Biden’s promise to reduce United States emissions by 50 percent by 2030 from the level of 2005 lower.
In a letter to Michael S. Regan, chief environmental officer, Ms. Barra wrote this week, “GM supports California’s emissions reduction targets by model year ’26,” adding: a profound transition as we do our part to meet the’s climate commitments Country to meet. “
The Obama-era climate rules, which GM wanted to relax, required automakers to build vehicles that achieved an average fuel consumption of 84.5 miles per gallon by 2025. The regulations would have removed about six billion tons of the planet-warming carbon dioxide pollution over the life of the vehicles. Mr Trump lowered Mr Obama’s standards from 54.5 miles per gallon to 40 miles per gallon by 2025 and revoked California’s legal authority to establish its own state-level standard.
California has a separate agreement with Honda, Ford, Volkswagen, BMW, and Volvo that requires them to increase their average fuel economy to around 51 miles per gallon by 2026.
Ms. Barra said her company will now support these standards at the federal level – along with a program designed to provide credit or incentives to electric vehicle manufacturers like her own company.
In addition to negotiating in the White House to reach an agreement on infrastructure legislation, negotiations are ongoing on the new auto pollution standards, which Mr Biden hopes will spur generous spending on tax credits for manufacturers and consumers of electric vehicles, as well as direct government investment in 500,000 New electric vehicles will include vehicle charging stations.
Nick Conger, an EPA spokesman, said in an email that Mr. Regan spoke to automaker executives this week and that “the discussions have been constructive as the agency pushes action to tackle emissions from cars and light trucks. ”