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California Creates New Plan to Lower Emissions Despite being Denied Right to set own Standards



Tesla Semi Rendering / Photo / Tesla

If State Legislation Doesn’t Work, Hit the Offenders Where it Hurts…

A couple of weeks ago, California lost a battle with the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. Wanting to set its own standards for vehicular carbon emissions, California campaigned for statewide legislation that would call for lighter, more fuel-efficient cars. The Trump administration, however, backed by car manufactures such as General Motors, Toyota, and Fiat Chrysler, eventually ruled that it was unconstitutional for California to set independent criteria when it came to carbon emissions, and that the state could not create a standard inconsistent with the federal rules.

The Golden State, however, has not given up in its battle to become more eco-friendly. Given the new stipulations, the state has come up with a reactionary plan to continue lowering emissions. Essentially, California is going to block out the car companies that stand in its way and instead use vehicles that already fall in line with its environmentally conscious goals.

This means that the California State government will no longer be purchasing vehicles from GM, Toyota, Fiat Chrysler, or any other company that helped the Trump administration revoke its emissions policy. Likewise, the state will only be using low-emission vehicles and will be transitioning to electric vehicles as much as possible. 

Tesla, Rivian and Other Auto Companies’ Benefit by supporting CA’s Green Initiatives

In opposition to the handful car companies that are at odds with California right now, a few other enterprises actually benefit from the state’s eco-friendly plan. Honda, BMW, Ford, and Volkswagen have all backed California and they already make vehicles that fit in with the state’s environmental prerogatives. At the forefront of the situation, however, are Tesla and Rivian—the two premiere electric car manufacturers who can supply Cali with zero-emission vehicles.

Tesla and Rivian have even gone the extra mile, teaming up with charging companies and electric companies to form the National Coalition for Advanced Transportation (NCAT). This group’s goal is to advocate for California’s low-emission standards and try to spread fuel-efficient innovation around the world. It is currently trying to get additional U.S. states to follow in California’s footsteps, and it has filed a lawsuit against the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration for repealing Cali’s right to set its own rules when it comes to clean air.

Admittedly, these electricity-based companies and carmakers might have fiscal motives for pushing environmentally conscious agendas. Perhaps these auto-manufactures are just as interested in greasing their palms as they are in saving the planet or combatting climate change. Even if that is the case, though, and these companies do have ulterior motives, it does not put them in the wrong. In fact, their economic investment in being environmentally sustainable could be a huge step forward, for it shows that going green can be good for business—an eight letter word that has not always been the kindest when it comes to ecological consideration.

The California state government owns over fifty thousand vehicles from snowplows, to school busses, to police cars, to ambulances, and more. The fact that they are ghosting GM, Toyota, Fiat Chrysler and other brands that opposed its initiatives is a big loss for those companies. At the same time, the fact that they are investing in environmentally conscious car manufacturers will launch these eco-friendly companies to greater heights. With fifty thousand vehicles following these stringent emission standards rules, it is possible that the trend will spread outside the Golden State and end up fostering a legitimate shift forward in the ongoing fight against climate change.

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