By on June 15, 2018

fuel gauge vintage

Despite the growing animosity, both California and the Trump administration are still willing to discuss the country’s changing emission regulations. The state is currently heading a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency, claiming it “acted arbitrarily and capriciously” in overturning the previous administration’s decision to maintain Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards.

While the proposals issued by the current administration will eventually see those targets rolled back, a final decision has not been made. The White House claims it wants to maintain an open dialogue with the Golden State, hoping to reach an agreeable solution, but the California Air Resources Board has argued it doesn’t seem to be acting on those assertions. Meanwhile, EPA head Scott Pruitt maintains that the state will not dictate federal fueling rules as automakers beg the government to do everything in its power to ensure a singular national mandate.

It’s an ugly situation, which makes news of a new round of meetings all the more surprising. 

The White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, part of the Office of Management and Budget, will meet separately with the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and the California Air Resources Board. According to Reuters, these interactions are scheduled to take place next Tuesday.

During the meetings, the automotive alliance will likely press for lowered targets while claiming a cohesive national standard is the most important outcome. While many manufacturers have come out publicly to support sticking with the existing environmental standards, business is still business. Having the flexibility to make cars less efficient for the American market in the coming years is something they’d all be pleased with. But they can’t do that if California and a handful of other states adhere to different standards.

What’s less clear is what the California Air Resources Board will ask for. While the group has shown a willingness to bend in the past, the most recent draft of the Transportation Department’s proposal recommends freezing fueling requirements at 2020 levels through 2026 and barring California from setting stricter standards than the federal government. It may pursue an all-or-nothing approach and hope it can fight to maintain its waiver to self regulate if it can’t negotiate a good deal.

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25 Comments on “Gabbing on Gas: White House and California Still On Speaking Terms...”


  • avatar
    Sub-600

    California needs to be treated as a national security issue, for a number of reasons. They are so far beyond the pale that it’s risible. If the Trump presidency continues to be this successful, the left will be forced even further left and California will lead the way. Actually, it might be a good thing. CARB is not a branch of the U.S. government. I’m all for states rights but this is absurd.

    • 0 avatar
      hpycamper

      California has air quality problems that other states do not and takes the initiative to resolve them.

      • 0 avatar
        Sub-600

        No, California climate believers want to please Gaia and Moonbeam by foisting their standards on everyone. If the smog is that bad then act locally, dude, whoa, like gnarly.

        • 0 avatar
          hpycamper

          They are acting locally and not foisting their standards on any other states, but other states choose to follow them. Nothing to do with Gaia and everyhting to do with health and quality of life. Peace man.

        • 0 avatar
          Mystogan

          Perhaps you misunderstood that California wants to impose standards within the borders of California and not the whole country.

      • 0 avatar
        Oberkanone

        One national standard for emissions does not prevent CA from solving their air quality problems. CA may enact tax policy on vehicles to regulate the vehicles registered and driven by CA residents.

        • 0 avatar
          hpycamper

          Not sure what connection there is between tax policy and cleaning the air, but I see a direct connection between mandating clean air standards and the results. Real problems addressed with real solutions that work.

          • 0 avatar
            Sub-600

            Wow, you drank too much Kool-Aid, your will is not your own. “real solutions”…you actually believe Moonbeam’s nonsense? Frightening stuff. Please secede.

          • 0 avatar
            hpycamper

            Cars are significantly cleaner now, in part because of CARB, no Kool-Aid needed. No magic, voodoo etc., just real advances in ICE technology. Isn’t this the way things should be done? See a problem, address it? What am I missing?

    • 0 avatar
      SD 328I

      I don’t think you understand the economic leverage CARB states have. They represent 40% of new cars sales and 50% of new car profit for manufacturers.

  • avatar
    CobraJet

    Instrument panel in picture appears to be a 67 Ford Fairlane.

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      Was that a trim of the full-sizers, like Custom, Galaxie, LTD, or was that the midsize? (Or was there a Torino at that point?)

      My knowledge skews more to GM, and Chevy in particular, from that era. (I got a “Chevy Spotter’s Book” covering the first cars through 1980 or so, and read it cover-to-cover, when I was maybe 10. Might have even picked it up at Greenfield Village in Dearborn, MI — don’t recall.)

  • avatar
    "scarey"

    I knew that a master diplomat who can negotiate with such a disagreeable sort as Kim Jung Un could, with a little extra patience, even talk with an oppressive communist regime like the one in Sacramento, California.

  • avatar
    Fred

    When I was in Texas they sued the Obama administration all the time. So now it’s changed sides. Funny tho how liberals and conservatives use each others arguments to get their way. Same old political bs.

    • 0 avatar
      stingray65

      The difference is the Texas lawsuits were against clearly unconstitutional Obama policies, while the anti-Trump lawsuits are based on “resistance”. Obama lost more Supreme Court cases than any president in recent history, despite his supposed background as a Constitutional Professor. Trump is likely to win everything because resistance isn’t a protected right in the Constitution.

  • avatar

    What is the problem? Do not sell gas powered cars in CA and thats all. Sell only hybrids or electric versions. When I was shopping for Ford Fusion there were considerably more hybrids available at Ford dealerships than gas powered. it was difficult to find Fusion with gas engine – very limited choice.

    • 0 avatar
      ect

      Not just California, but 16 other states follow the CA standard. I an understand that OEMs would like a single standard (not “singular”, as Matt mistakenly refers to it), but if the Feds and CA+16 continue to differ, I suspect that OEMs will build everything to the higher standard in order to simplify their design/sourcing/manufacturing/replacement parts systems.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        It’s a “standard” that would drastically alter or collapse the US car market. Either that or automakers would face fines in the billions. CARB states would win either way. The fines are relatively small, per violating vehicle, except they would be on higher profit vehicles.

        This isn’t about clean air, CARB just wants the monumental cash grab. If CARB truly wanted cleaner air, they’d attack the dirty, gross polluting train, military, aircraft and oceanliner industries.

        Except CARB hasn’t come forward with what that “standard” would be, since they cannot dictate mpg, only emissions.

    • 0 avatar
      SD 328I

      Because CARB states represents 40% of new car sales and 50% of the profit in new car sales.

      California buys the most of everything, not just hybrids or electrics, but trucks, luxury cars, etc.

  • avatar
    ToddAtlasF1

    Does anyone who supports Obama’s CAFE standards realize that it was Obama’s team who created the standards that are eliminating the most fuel efficient and affordable vehicles from our market? Under the old CAFE, the big three had to offer Escorts, Cavaliers, Horizons, and T1000s at low prices to offset the emissions and consumption of bigger, more profitable vehicles. Under the Obama footprint model, the bigger the vehicles you make, the lower the bar gets. Bye bye affordable and efficient new cars. I’m all for selling people what they want to buy. The old CAFE was wrong for making the automakers sell cars people weren’t willing to pay for. The new CAFE is wrong for eliminating cars people were paying for by setting their consumption standards impossibly high. If anyone really thinks Marxists are better than markets, we should ship them to Venezuela instead of allowing them to bring Venezuela here.


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