GM withdraws support for Trump’s emissions lawsuit against California

President Donald Trump delivers remarks on March 15, 2017, along with General Motors CEO Mary Barra and other auto industry executives at the Center for Mobility in Ypsilanti, Michigan.

Nicholas Kamm | AFP | Getty Images

General Motors is withdrawing a lawsuit led by the Trump administration against California over the state’s right to set its fuel economy and emissions regulations, distancing itself from President Donald Trump.

In a letter to environmental leaders on Monday, GM CEO Mary Barra said the company’s decision to withdraw from litigation is effective immediately. He said that since the November 3 election of President Joe Biden, he has had a call for unity in the country, along with his support for electric vehicles.

“We believe that President-Elect, California, and General Motors’ ambitious electrification goals are aligned to address climate change by reducing automobile emissions on a large scale,” Barra wrote.

By withdrawing, GM is showing support for the incoming administration while distancing himself from Trump, who has publicly praised and condemned the drivers during his tenure as Commander in Chief. GM has plans for a strong portfolio of electric vehicles in the coming years.

The automaker’s shares were up 4.9% to a new high-level of $ 45.16 per share during Monday afternoon trading.

The White House declined to comment. US Environmental Protection Agency spokesman James Hewitt said that “it is always interesting to see the changing conditions of American corporations.”

Biden is widely expected to drop the lawsuit against California and allow the state to set its own standards. California was permitted to do so under the 2013 exemption under the Clean Air Act. Other states were also allowed to adopt those standards.

The Detroit automaker, along with Fiat Chrysler, Toyota Motor and other small automakers, initially supported Trump’s efforts in late 2019. At the time Trump was fighting to rollback the Obama administration’s national emissions standards and empowered California and other states to set their own manufacturing production regulations.

Four other major automakers – Ford Motor, BMW, Honda Motor and Volkswagen – reached an agreement with California in July to tighten gas mileage and emissions standards, drawing an ire from Trump.

Barra invited other drivers involved in the lawsuit to “join us” and withdrew from the litigation. Fiat Chrysler did not immediately respond to GM’s call to withdraw from the lawsuit. “Looking at the changing circumstances, we are assessing the situation, but are committed to our goal of a consistent, unitary set of fuel economy standards applicable in all 50 states,” Toyota said in an email statement.

From the initial plans announced in March, the automaker announced plans to spend $ 27 billion on all electric and autonomous vehicles through 2025, which was followed by an increase of $ 7 billion, or 35%.

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