GM CEO to Dealers: Stonewall State MPG Regs

Samir Syed
by Samir Syed
gm ceo to dealers stonewall state mpg regs

The Tahoe Hybrid. From gas friendly to gas-free. FlexFuel. The plug-in electric – gas Chevy Volt. The [entirely theoretical] hydrogen fuel cell Cadillac Provoq. It's clear that General Motors has finally embraced a low-emissions, scarce fossil fuel future. Provided, that is, you're as gullible as a Barry Bonds supporter. While GM is pushing itself as the second coming of Al Gore, The General's CEO sent a very different message to the National Automobile Dealers Association in San Francisco. According to Yahoo! News, Rick Wagoner asked GM's immense network of dealers to aggressively oppose state-specific greenhouse gas legislation that exceeds the restrictions mandated by the U.S. Congress. While Wagoner's influence may be falling in Washington, his dealers still have a lot of pull at the state level. "Dealers are very effective in the political process because we don't have a plant in every state," Wagoner boasted. "We have dealers in every state." Wagoner's biggest fear: California and its copycat states' air quality rules will trump federal regs, as they already do in several areas (including diesel particulate standards). If the need for "50-state compliance" extends into CO2, "We're not going to be able to accomplish everything that we otherwise could," Wagoner noted, vying for TTAC's understatement of the year award.

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  • Bill Wade Bill Wade on Feb 11, 2008

    I have to agree with GM on this issue. A patchwork of state regulations does nothing but increase costs to consumers with little over all gain in environmental benefits. California has almost singlehandedly kept light diesels out of the US market. If they had their way virtually no automobile in existence would be acceptable for use in their state.

  • Mel23 Mel23 on Feb 11, 2008

    So let's say GM's effort is effective and MPG regs are less stringent than they might otherwise be. So GM and Ford will slack off, and Toyota might too except for the Corolla, Camry and their hybrid stuff. But Honda will keep on doing the best they can. And they best they can is the best. So 5 or years down the road how will this have helped GM? Of course by that time Wagoner and Lutz will have floated away on their parachutes. Typical.

  • TomAnderson TomAnderson on Feb 11, 2008

    Couldn't have said it any better, Bill.