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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.

Comments

Engineer-Poet

US tight oil production relies on an investment bubble.  When it collapses, imports and world oil prices will surge and the US balance of payments will go even further into deficit.

California's fuel economy rules may be unpopular, but if anything they are weaker than what we need.

HarveyD

For a rare occasion, I agree with SAEP that California is the leading State with regards to ways to reduce further bio-fossil fuels consumption.

However, USA will not run out of Oil, Gas and Coal for another 50+ years and will remain one of the major polluter of the planet up to and after 2050?

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