WASHINGTON – General Motors has abandoned President Trump’s battle to overturn California’s fuel economy rules meant to curb global warming, the strongest sign yet that U.S. companies are moving from Mr. Trump to adapting to a new democratic administration.
“President-elect Biden recently said, ‘I believe we can own the 21st century auto market again by switching to electric vehicles.’ At General Motors, we couldn’t agree more, ”wrote Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors, in a letter Monday to executives of some of the country’s largest environmental groups.
Ms Barra said her company, one of the largest automakers in the world, was withdrawing its support for the Trump administration’s litigation that seeks to deprive California of its ability to set its own strict economy standards. fuel, and she urged Toyota and Fiat Chrysler to do the same.
Ms Barra also spoke by phone Monday with Mary Nichols, California’s top climate regulator, who is a top candidate for the Environmental Protection Agency leadership in a Biden administration.
An EPA spokesperson for the Trump administration did not appear to be aware of General Motors’ withdrawal of support in the California litigation. “It is always interesting to see the changing positions of American companies,” said spokesman James Hewitt.
The move is a stark reversal for General Motors, which four years ago was one of the first to push Mr. Trump to relax Obama-era standards on fuel economy and fuel emissions. global warming. Ms Barra met with Mr Trump during his first few weeks in office and urged him to weaken the stringent tailpipe pollution standards that were the United States’ biggest domestic policy to curb global warming.
Last year – after the administration went even further, revoking the legal authority of California and other states to impose stricter state restrictions – GM, Toyota and Fiat Chrysler stepped in on the side of the administration to support this decision.
Ms Barra’s letter did not support California standards, but indicated that a realignment was underway.
“We believe the ambitious electrification goals of the president-elect of California and General Motors are aligned with the fight against climate change by dramatically reducing automotive emissions,” she wrote. “We are confident that the Biden administration, California, and the US auto industry, which supports 10.3 million jobs, can work together on the path to a fully electric future. To better foster the necessary dialogue, we are immediately withdrawing from the pre-emption litigation and invite other car manufacturers to join us.