Automakers sidestep Trump to make emissions deal with California

Automakers side-stepped the Trump administration to craft a deal with California to raise standards governing gas mileage and emissions in the state, according to a Thursday announcement.

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Ford Motor Co., BMW, Honda and Volkswagen reached an agreement with the California Air Resources Board to annually raise the benchmarks 3.7 percent from 2022 to 2026, but a portion of that could be achieved with electric vehicle credits.

"Ensuring that America's vehicles are efficient, safe and affordable is a priority for us all," the companies said in a statement "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."

Negotiations between California and the White House are at a stalemate as the state seeks to set a stricter standard than desired by President Trump, who previously threatened to remove California’s ability to independently craft its own standards.

In a statement, the Environmental Protection Agency said it is pursuing a national emissions standard to provide certainty for the industry while improving environmental outcomes.

"This voluntary framework is a PR stunt that does nothing to further the one national standard that will provide certainty and relief for American consumers," said spokesman Michael Abboud. "Despite our best efforts to reach a common-sense solution with CARB, they continually refused to produce reasonable and responsible proposals.”


The deal reached between top automakers and California is likely to put pressure on firms like General Motors to join in, though the companies risk angering Trump by agreeing to the compromise.