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Climate Crisis

Auto Companies Back Trump in Fight against California’s Statewide Carbon Emissions Mandates

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Boomerang Mistake being made by Manufacturers Likely soon to face Backlash

Under former President Barak Obama, a number of environmental policies were pushed to lower carbon emissions and combat the climate crisis across the United States. Ever since Trump entered office, though, the White House has been working to rollback much of the eco-friendly progress that Obama helped make possible.

In response to Trump’s careless approach to environmental issues, the state of California has taken it upon itself to put a cap on carbon emissions, with Governor Gavin Newsom proposing fuel saving and zero-emission requirements for automobiles throughout the state.

Being the most populated state in the nation, California is known for its traffic-filled cities and its progressive-minded people. Currently, the state is also feeling the effects of global warming firsthand, with unparalleled wildfires, droughts, and coastline erosion taking tangible tolls on the state’s residents and natural beauty. Therefore, it makes sense for California to go after cars in the battle against climate change, and if Trump is not going to help the Golden State, then it will make the changes for itself.

California’s proposed statewide legislation includes calling for lighter and more eco-friendly fuel-efficient vehicles. The state wanted to uphold Obama’s stringent goal of a 54.5 mpg average by 2026 rather than Trump’s far more lenient 36 mpg target. While this fuel-efficient technology might make cars more expensive up front, it would actually help drivers save money in the long run as they would not have to fuel up as often—thus avoiding the daunting California gas prices and pleasing the everyday car owner.

But, of course, these proposed policies did not please car manufacturers. With California setting its own emissions standard apart from the federal standard, car companies feel that it would be too difficult and expensive for them to adapt their vehicles just to fit a single state’s independent regulations.

State vs Federal – Who will Win the Urgent Fight for Environmental Policy Reform in the US?

For these reasons, many car companies sided with Trump and eventually solidified the federal government’s standards as universal, barring California from creating its own separate policies. Among these car companies that backed Trump were General Motors, Toyota, Hyundai, Mitsubishi, Mazda, and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. These uber-wealthy corporate entities were powerful enough to sway policies against California.

Notice the irony, however, that hardly any of these companies produce American cars. Many of them are headquartered in Japan with the exceptions of Hyundai coming from South Korea and Fiat coming from Italy. General Motors is the sole American company on the list, and it is based in Detroit, over two thousand miles from the West Coast.

Despite the pushback, California is determined to continue fighting for environmental policy reform. Many of the state’s citizens and politicians alike are enthused about the idea of fuel-efficient and zero-emission requirements taking place. Even if Trump and an army of foreign auto corporations may have won this round, the Golden West is not giving up and will continue to campaign for constructive policies and initiatives in the ongoing battle against the climate crisis.


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