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Mary Barra, Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers Throw Support Behind Single National Fuel Efficiency, Emissions Standard

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Self-driving Chevy Bolts have begun testing on public roadways in Michigan

Last month, I speculated about what the position of the automakers would be in relation to new fuel efficiency and emissions rules. I guessed that they would like to have fewer regulations, but would greatly prefer a single national standard and more certainty in future regulations.

Turns out I’m better at this than I thought. General Motors CEO Mary Barra has released comments that GM supports establishing one set of fuel efficiency standards, adding “with flexibilities that take into consideration recent industry developments such as vehicle sharing and self-driving electric vehicles.”

Barra also reaffirmed GM’s commitment to improving fuel economy and producing electric vehicles, for which GM hopes the government will expand incentives.

Interestingly, Barra wrote something that EPA director Scott Pruitt would not agree with, declaring, “Climate change is real. We recognize the transportation sector is a contributor, and we must be part of the solution.”

EPA head Scott Pruitt

Pruitt has frequently disputed whether or not climate change is caused by humans

Meanwhile, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (the trade group that represents many of the largest automakers and that successfully lobbied for the reevaluation of the rules in the first place) issued its own statement. It supports increasing fuel economy standards, albeit adjusted for market demand, and concludes that “an agreement among the federal government, California, and the auto industry is better than years of litigation.”

These statements come ahead of a meeting between Trump and automaker CEOs this week after an alliance of states (including California, New York, and several others) issued a lawsuit against the EPA to prevent regulatory rollback. The situation has become increasingly heated, as word leaked that Pruitt and the Trump administration would be trying to argue in court that a 1975 law made it so that California’s issuing of its own emissions and fuel efficiency rules was illegal.

News Sources: GM Authority, Detroit Free Press, Mary Barra via LinkedIn