Four large automakers broke with the Trump administration’s plans to roll back emissions standards and struck a voluntary deal with California to produce more fuel-efficient cars, Reuters reports.
The automakers -- Ford, BMW, VW, and Honda -- agreed to produce cars with higher fuel efficiency despite White House plans to roll back efficiency standards.
Under the deal, "the stringency of the requirements would increase at a nationwide average annual rate of 3.7% annually starting in the 2022 model year through 2026, and 1% of that annual improvement could be covered by credits awarded for building electrified vehicles,” according to the report.
"These terms will provide our companies much-needed regulatory certainty by allowing us to meet both federal and state requirements with a single national fleet, avoiding a patchwork of regulations while continuing to ensure meaningful greenhouse gas emissions reductions," the four automakers said in a statement, adding that the agreement is open to “all automakers.”
Deal rebuffs Trump plans:
The deal comes as the Trump administration plans to roll back nationwide Obama-era fuel efficiency standards. Automakers supported weakening the rules, Axios reported, but “have also bristled at Trump's push to freeze them outright.”
Under the Trump plan, the EPA would strip California’s special permission to set their own efficiency standards under the Clean Air Act.
California air pollution regulator Mary Nichols told The Washington Post that the deal is a potential “olive branch” with the White House.
“What we have here is a statement of principles, intended to reach out to the federal government to move them off the track that they seem to be on, and on to a more constructive track,” Nichols said.
Trump plan would increase emissions:
Trump’s plan to freeze efficiency standards between 2020 and 2026 would increase greenhouse gas emissions by between “16 million and 37 million metric tons during that period,” The Washington Post reported. “That’s the equivalent of adding between 3.4 million and 7.8 million cars on the road.”
The White House last year rejected a deal with California, saying the state “failed to put forward a productive alternative” to the administration’s plan.
Nichols said that after more than a year of negotiations, it was the automakers that approached automakers about striking a deal even as talks with the White House never got off the ground.