FILE PHOTO: General Motors Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra announces a major investment focused on the development of GM future technologies at the GM Orion Assembly Plant in Lake Orion, Michigan, U.S. March 22, 2019. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook/File Photo

THE NEUTRAL ZONE

General Motors will no longer support a Trump administration lawsuit seeking to end California’s right to set its own clear-air standards. In a letter to environmental groups, CEO Mary Barra said the company agrees with President-elect Joe Biden’s plan to expand electric vehicle use. 

“It’s always interesting to see the changing positions of U.S. corporations,” James Hewitt, spokesman for the EPA, told McClatchy DC. 

Ron Klain, Biden’s incoming chief of staff, said on Twitter that he is glad to see the president-elect’s leadership “is already encouraging progress.” Mary Nichols, head of California’s Air Resources Board, said GM’s announcement was good news. Dan Becker, director of the Safe Climate Transport Campaign, urged other automakers to follow GM and withdraw their support for the lawsuit.

Last year, a coalition of public health and environmental groups sued the EPA for attempting to withdraw California’s Clean Air Act preemption waiver. The waiver allowed California and 13 other states to enact clean car standards.

General Motors, Fiat Chrysler, Toyota and 10 smaller automakers at the time sided with the Trump administration under the banner “Coalition for Sustainable Automotive Regulation.” Four other companies — BMW, Ford, Volkswagen and Honda — backed California and endorsed stricter emissions and fuel economy standards.

MEDIA PERSPECTIVE

G.M. Drops Its Support for Trump Climate Rollbacks and Aligns With Biden – The New York Times – 11/23/2020
General Motors turned its back Monday on the Trump administration’s legal fight to nullify California’s strict fuel economy rules, signaling that it was ready to work with President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. to reduce climate-warming emissions from cars and trucks.

GM pulls out of California emissions litigation, supports President-elect Biden’s plans – Autoblog – 11/23/2020
While this could certainly be read as the company seeing where the wind is now blowing and attempting to ingratiate itself to the incoming administration, its recently announced product plan would at least indicate GM was already well on its way to electrifying its lineup.  […] General Motors, like other car companies, have generally been supportive of one national emissions standard as opposed to two: a national standard and one set by California and followed by other states. 

General Motors abandons Trump administration in legal fight over California standards – The Detroit News – 11/23/2020
In a statement, U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Dearborn, praised GM’s decision, calling it “the right thing” to do to drop out of “this misguided lawsuit.” She called on other automakers to follow their example. 

GM drops out of Trump’s lawsuit against California’s emission rules in suspiciously opportunistic move – Electrek – 11/23/2020
Biden is going to make the lawsuit go away anyway, and not only that, but we have been hearing that Mary Nichols, the former head of the California Air Ressource Board that Trump and GM were going after, is on a shortlist to replace coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler as EPA of the head.

INFLUENCER PERSPECTIVE

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