Locally, latecomers to the climate crisis battle are crying over the ill-conceived profit-making venture to put wind turbines on Bear River Ridge an important site to the Wiyot people and many kinds of wildlife. The real battle is being fought in court. If you want to take a stand against the climate disaster then boycott GM, Toyota, Fiat Chrysler and the other automakers siding with Trump.
The State of California on Friday ramped up its efforts to block the Trump administration from taking away its authority to set greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and fuel economy standards for cars and trucks.
California was joined by 22 other states, the District of Columbia and two cities in suing Trump’s compromised Environmental Protection Agency, building on a similar lawsuit it filed last September.
This legal action challenges the Trump EPA’s attempt to revoke part of a waiver granted California in 2013 permitting the state to impose its greenhouse gas and zero-emission vehicle standards. The action asks the court to rule that California’s rules are protected under the federal Clean Air Act.
The coming court battle will help mold a major aspect of the nation’s climate policy because 13 other states and the District of Columbia have adopted California’s standards.
Federal law generally sets the rules for how much vehicles can pollute. But California has been allowed to impose tougher rules since the 1970s because it has the most cars and problems meeting air quality standards.
The EPA said it doesn’t comment on pending litigation, but Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao (Wife of Mitch McConnel) said in September that the stricter rules were making vehicles more expensive and less safe because consumers had difficulty buying newer, safer vehicles.
“California’s Clean Car Standards are achievable. not only do they work, but many other states around the country have chosen to adopt them,” California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a statement.
The filing also asks the court to review NHTSA’s September decision.
Joining California in the lawsuit are attorneys general of Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia; as well as the cities of Los Angeles and New York.
And now, in an escalation of the battle California announced it won’t buy cars from GM, Toyota, others opposing tough tailpipe standards this bold decision to buy only from carmakers that have agreed to follow its clean car rules may well cost GM’s Chevrolet tens of millions of dollars.
Starting immediately, California state agencies will no longer buy gas-powered sedans, officials said Friday. And starting in January, the state will stop purchasing vehicles from carmakers that haven’t agreed to follow California’s clean car rules.
The decision affects General Motors, Fiat Chrysler, Toyota and multiple other automakers that sided with the Trump administration in the ongoing battle over tailpipe pollution rules. The policy will hit General Motors particularly hard; California spent more than $27 million on passenger vehicles from GM-owned Chevrolet in 2018.
It’s the latest volley in the fight over climate-changing pollution from cars and trucks. “It certainly sends a strong message to the automakers that have come out on the other side of California in this litigation,” said Julia Stein, supervising attorney at UCLA’s Frank G. Wells Environmental Law Clinic. “It’s taking steps to encourage automakers to be on what it views as the right side of that dispute.”
Now California’s Department of General Services is crafting policy that will prohibit state purchases from carmakers that haven’t signed on to its clean car deal — and manufacturers could stand to lose millions in sales to the state. In addition to the $27 million in purchases from Chevrolet, the state also spent more than $11 million on Fiat Chrysler brands, and more than $3.6 million on Toyota. Toyota, well-known for its environmentally-friendly Prius, is also facing public backlash for its alliance with the Trump administration.
“In court, and in the marketplace, California is standing up to those who put short-term profits ahead of our health and our future.”
News sources Wall Street Journal, AP, and CalMatters