Sacramento Bee condemns GM for move to drop Trump emissions plan


A California newspaper slams General Motors in a scorching editorial urging consumers to take a break before purchasing a new vehicle from the automaker.

This stems from GM’s decision a week ago when it flip-flopped and said it would no longer support President Donald Trump’s efforts to prevent California from setting its own emissions rules. .

With that, GM pulled out of the pre-emption litigation between California, the Trump administration, and other non-government groups.

GM CEO Mary Barra cited GM’s alignment of EV targets with President-elect Joe Biden’s endorsement of electric vehicles as a reason to withdraw from the litigation.

Biden praised GM for the move. But not everyone buys GM’s change of mind.

In a Sunday Sacramento Bee op-ed titled “GM sided with Trump against California. Remember this when buying a new car,” GM is described as a Benedict Arnold, the US military officer who defected from the British side during the War of Independence.

“Like rats from a doomed ship, some of President Donald Trump’s prominent supporters have started to abandon him now that it is clear he cannot reverse Joe Biden’s presidential victory in 2020. Among the greatest and most venerable evacuees: General Motors Corp., “the editorial began.

The editorial said GM had been Trump’s “pocket dog” a year earlier when the president sought to reduce the Obama administration’s fuel consumption requirements from an average of 55 mpg to 40 mpg d ‘by 2026.

Meanwhile, the California Air Resources Board had an agreement with five automakers – BMW, Ford, Honda, Volkswagen and Volvo – to adopt an average fuel consumption standard of 51 mpg by 2026. But Trump challenged that agreement and has got GM support. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, along with Toyota Motor Corp., have also supported the Trump administration’s efforts to prevent California from setting its own fuel efficiency rules or its own zero-emission requirements.

“Now that Biden has triumphed, GM wants to get back to the right side of politics – and history,” the editorial said. “If Trump hadn’t lost the election, however, there is no doubt that GM would still help and encourage his attack on California, climate action and the future of the planet.

“California consumers should remember this when deciding which brand of car to buy. If you weren’t driving a car with a 2020 Trump sticker on the bumper, why would you buy a Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, or GMC? “

A GM spokeswoman declined to comment on the editorial other than to highlight a letter Barra sent to environmental executives last week.

In it, Barra wrote: “We believe the ambitious electrification goals of the President-elect, California and General Motors are aligned to tackle climate change by dramatically reducing emissions from automobiles. We are confident that the Biden Administration, California, and US auto industry, which supports 10.3 million jobs, can collaboratively find the path that will deliver an all-electric future. “

Barra said that to “better foster the necessary dialogue,” GM was immediately withdrawing from the pre-emption litigation and asked other automakers to join it.

“Given this shared enthusiasm and the President-elect’s call to bring the country together, we believe that there is now a way to reach agreement on a national standard and complementary policies to accelerate the electrification of the electricity sector. light transport, ”said Barra. .

Biden had met Barra, UAW President Rory Gamble and other business and union leaders earlier this month as part of his transition. He said GM’s choice to work with California is central to its Build Back Better plan, and innovation and manufacturing issues were discussed at the meeting.

In a tweet following GM news, Ford CEO Jim Farley hailed GM’s decision to withdraw support for the Trump administration’s attempt to block California’s right to set its own air standards pure.

Likewise, John Cangany, a Ford spokesperson said, “We urge all automakers to follow Ford’s lead in standing with California to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The fight against climate change requires the mobilization of all stakeholders. We believe our framework agreement is the best way forward for customers, the environment and the short and long term health of the automotive industry. “

GM has laid out an ambitious plan to eventually offer an all-electric range in what it calls its future zero-emissions, zero-accident, and zero-congestion business model. Barra has told Wall Street he is increasing the number of electric vehicles he will bring to market. GM will offer 30 new electric vehicles by 2025, up from its previous target of offering 20 by 2023.

In September, California said all new passenger cars sold in the state were to be fully electric by 2035 and that no new internal combustion engine vehicles would be allowed to be sold there.

After:GM abandons Trump in bid to ban California from fixing emissions

After:GM and UAW meet with Biden and Harris on COVID-19 and the economy

Contact Jamie L. LaReau at 313-222-2149 or [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @jlareauan. Read more on General Motors and subscribe to our automotive newsletter. Become a subscriber.


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