NYC Comptroller Stringer and investors with $1.1T urge GM to get on board with the California compromise agreement on vehicle standards
New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer and a coalition of 25 major investors with $1.1 trillion in collective assets under management called on General Motors (GM) to join other OEMs in the compromise agreement with California and other states on clean vehicle standards.
In a letter sent to GM’s CEO Mary Barra, the investor signatories together stressed the urgent need to avoid the significant regulatory uncertainty and litigation delay that would result from President Trump’s proposed rollback of federal clean vehicle standards, as well as the importance of reducing emissions in the near-term from the transportation sector—the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the US.
The investors said that the agreement between the states and automakers provides the best available opportunity to address those needs while also positioning the company for competitive success in a global marketplace that is pivoting to cleaner vehicles.
We urge you to join this compromise agreement which is consistent with GM’s call for a national solution, continuously improving fuel economy, and its stated goal of moving toward zero emissions.—Investor signatories in their letter
Despite GM’s public statements, the company has successfully lobbied the Trump administration, both individually and through its trade organization, to roll back the US. Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) and greenhouse gas (GHG) vehicle standards. However, in June of this year, after significant investor engagement, the company joined 16 other automakers to write a letter to the President that, citing the need to avoid regulatory uncertainty, expressed approval for a rule supported by California that is stricter than the standards proposed by the Trump Administration—and that helps promote electric vehicles. The compromise agreement provides these elements.
In July, however, GM failed to join Ford, BMW, Honda, and Volkswagen as they reached a compromise agreement with California—supported by 13 states that have adopted California’s standards—that set standards that were not as stringent as the current standards adopted by the Obama administration and the California standards, but still more aggressive than the weaker standards proposed by President Trump. These companies cited the regulatory chaos Trump’s rollback would cause, as states that have adopted California’s standards represent about 37% of the US market, as well as the business case for investing in cleaner vehicles.