Automakers Demand President Trump Cooperate with Californian Climate Rules

Schwarzenegger being forced to drive a gas guzzling Hummer by “big oil”. Does this make him an accessory to first degree murder?

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Carmakers have urged the White House to cooperate with California over US vehicle emissions standards.

‘Climate Change Is Real,’ Carmakers Tell White House in Letter

By Ryan Beene
22 May 2018, 07:37 GMT+10

Automakers urged the White House to cooperate with California officials in a coming rewrite of vehicle efficiency standards, saying “climate change is real.”

The plea came in a May 3 letter to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget from the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, the industry’s leading trade group. It said carmakers “strongly support” continued alignment between federal mileage standards and those set by California. General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co., Daimler AG and nine other carmakers are members of the Alliance.

“Automakers remain committed to increasing fuel efficiency requirements, which yield everyday fuel savings for consumers while also reducing emissions — because climate change is real and we have a continuing role in reducing greenhouse gases and improving fuel efficiency,” David Schwietert, executive vice president of federal government relations at the Alliance, wrote in the letter, which was made public Monday.

“Operating under two or three sets of regulations would be inefficient and disrupt a period of rapid innovation in the auto industry,” Schwietert wrote, adding that fractured rules could have negative consequences for the roughly 7 million people employed directly or indirectly by the American auto industry.

Read more:

The Auto Alliance site is down, so I have not been able to locate a copy of the letter.

The obvious question, if auto manufacturers want uniformity, why not build automobiles which comply with stringent Californian standards, regardless of national standards? Surely vehicles built to stricter Californian standards would also satisfy more relaxed national standards?

I suspect the answer is many car buyers would not choose of their free will to buy the kind of automobiles Californian standards will demand. Without President Trump’s backing for national standards which satisfy Californian lawmakers, auto makers will be forced to build vehicles for Californians which satisfy their ridiculous fuel economy standards, and build real automobiles for everyone else – or lose business to competitors.

California compliant national rules for auto manufacturers would be great news for the manufacturers – not so great for everyone else.

170 thoughts on “Automakers Demand President Trump Cooperate with Californian Climate Rules

  1. The simplest solution to this would be to remove California’s special status of having the ability to set pollution standards.

    • No, the simplest solution is to have no standards at all, and let the market decide what it wants. Standards were set in the 70s because of a perceived oil shortage. That worry no longer exists, hence the standards are irrelevant.

      • It doesn’t quite work like that Greg. Automobiles are built to an internationally agreed mininum standard. So for example brake lights are always red, indicator lights are always amber and so on and so forth. However once you’ve complied with all the international standards, you do do what the hell you want

      • rapscallion,

        I’m confident that Greg is simply referring to the efficiency standards noted above. These are the ones that are really in question. And I think it’s perfectly fair to let the market determine these.


      • In support of Greg’s point is a recent study showing that the CAFE standards have had several opposite effects to what was intended: reduced use of fossil fuels. Essentially, auto makers have incentives to make larger cars, and that is what buyers want anyway. And ironically, SUVs were invented because their classification as a “light truck” entitled them to a lower standard.

      • The left doesn’t believe that individuals are smart enough to run our own lives. That’s why leftists need to make all decisions for us.

      • Not only they don’t believe individual can control their own lives, but some individuals, when elevated to a position of “expert”, can control the lives of many people they have never met.

      • Yes, rapscallion, as Ripshin noted, I was referring only to fuel standards, nothing else.

      • Rapscallion,It doesn’t quite work like that,While there is an internationally agreed minimum standard,the USA and Canada have not signed the treaty that was originally put forth in 1957. In fact they have rejected the treaty as not good enough.This is why you can’t buy a Nissan Micra or a Ford Ka in the US.Both get great fuel mileage.far exceeding present caffe mileage requirements but lacking in safety. Oh buy the way most tail lights in the US do not have yellow turn signals,they double purpose the brake lamps .

      • So, you say that without government to impose standards, there would be no standards? That’s nonsense! Why would a car maker use green brake lights? Or, stop installing mirrors? Or, stop making car cabins safe in accidents?

        If consumers are willing to pay for it, the car makers will make it ‘standard’ equipment. If it’s cheaper to add a new safety feature as opposed to paying out on product liability claims, car makers again will make it ‘standard’ equipment.

        Just because the government doesn’t provide it does not mean it won’t exist.

      • Not only they don’t believe individual can control their own lives, but some individuals, when elevated to a position of “expert”, can control the lives of many people they have never met.

        Left mostly aims to meritocracy, but fails, because does not require responsibility with own money and under criminal code.

        A faceless bureaucrat just makes your life miserable, as in the JCU, and evades responsibility.

        So, you say that without government to impose standards, there would be no standards? That’s nonsense

        I think there will be ‘some’ standards without a meritocracy enforcing one, but surely green signal lights would be a matter of days if there wasn’t a legal obligation to do yellow ones. And lights were very bright making me night blind, if there wasn’t limitations on them.

      • The left’s version of meritocracy is based almost exclusively on who can spout the party line with the greatest accuracy and fervor. Actually knowing something about the subject in question is optional.

      • indeed greg. many of the nonsense additions to vehicles in the name of the environment and co2 reduction are virtue signalling at best and harmful at worst.

        no engine designer would ever have fitted a device such as an egr valve to any engine under normal circumstances. bleeding the hot air off the exhaust side to inject into the cylinder head may well reduce co2. unfortunately it decreases fuel efficiency and increases particulate emissions, though these particulates are nothing like the problem perceived by many, cities in the developed world have never had such clean air.

        the air in most homes is far more “polluted” when measured by the same standards.

        let engineers design for power, torque and or efficiency and we will soon see the benefits. number one being less breakdowns due to all the needless crap attached to most vehicle engines these days.

      • “bleeding the hot air off the exhaust side to inject into the cylinder head may well reduce co2”


      • co2isnotevil
        May 21, 2018 at 7:40 pm

        While not the simplest solution, the most effective one would be to fix the damn science.

        When it comes to California, at this time in point, is all gone beyond the point of science.
        It is simply a case of straightforward facing the “storm”, the economical looming disaster.
        That storm has already touched the land of Calif, even when the eye of economical disaster “storm” still in the close horizon.

        That what actually this public plea of this business shows, as that actually could very well be the same for most of the economical activities in California, right now.

        The coffers of California, if not yet dried out, are in a very quick and rapid path to it.

        Technically and otherwise the government of Calif can not pull it out in its own, anymore.

        And if the Calif govt does not consider properly the only right thing it can do now, California will have to face the reality of this economical disaster turning into an Economical catastrophe for Caif, and the people there.

        Again if the coffers of Cal govt not dry yet soon there is going a be it, if not the right and proper measures and proper approach to such as condition taken.

        Cal govt should really stop their stand on the “hunger game”, the :starvation” stand, for the sake of the whole Calif, and stop believing and crossing the fingers, at somehow at the prospect that the Federal government will move to “force feed” Calif and salvage it from its stupidity, as that will be a straightforward breaking of the USA constitution.

        California really needs the help of the USA Federal Government, at this point, as it, in its own has no much power or juice left to save its self from the looming economical disaster, even when contemplating a full U-turn, every one in power there going Trump.
        No “juice” left there at all, especially when all “Rats” already making a runaway from Cal….

        You see even NK government knows that much, that a “hunger game”, a “starvation” stand is simply self destructive.

        Gosh, I probably should not have said all this nonsense!!!


    • Bumper stickers from the 60’s and 70’s read:
      “It will be a great day when our schools get all the money they need and the air force has to hold a bake sale to buy a bomber.”

      Time for a new one:
      “It will be a great day when the rest of the planet refuses to meet California’s standards, and liberals are forced back into the stone age.”

      • No organization will ever have “all the money it needs”.
        However schools have had the money they need to do their job. The problem is that they waste much of it on overpaying teachers, gold plated retirement packages and football.

      • @MarkW;

        For any given state, you can graph educational outcomes by putting test scores on the y-axis, per-pupil expenditures on the x-axis, then firing a load of bird shot at the graph. There is essentially no correlation.

      • Overpaying teachers? Where!!! I’m in! (not in public schools I guess – they still sell cake and bun)

      • D. J.

        Test results depend on pupils, not money used. Good pupils who come from easy families do well with cheap teaching, and no amount of money makes good pupils out of petty criminals in education.

        Usually well-off areas have good pupils, and single mothers are a symptom of great problems mostly caused by the men who left the scene. Mostly: 50% of the child, plus money needed to raise plus time not given to the child plus some genetic suspectibility to drugs and booze, plus mommy who was attracted to the ratbag. Sad but poverty of the mind is difficult to fix with money to the school.

      • Fuel efficiency reduces oil imports which affects the US balance of trade. That money typically goes to the Middle East and with Iran more or less coming online after a long embargo, a lot is going to go to Iran as the oil of other countries has been pumped for 50 years while Iranian oil has had very little extracted. Every cent Iran gets will be spent on world jihad on an unfathomable scale.

      • “disrupt a period of rapid innovation in the auto industry”

        Because the auto makers jumped the gun and invested too much into this new technology….now they need the government to force people to buy it

      • Its not a question of whether the US is a free country, it’s a question of internationally agreed minimum standards – see my response to Greg in Houston above. Moreover when you want to export your cars to say the UK, not only must it meet the aforementioned international standards but meet any UK standards, The same procedure operates in reverse as you’d expect.

      • If our goal is to de-fund Iran, it would be cheaper just to impose an embargo on them.
        If the goal is to improve our trade balance, we could go the N. Korean route and just outlaw imports.
        Who needs freedom, we have to protect liberty.

      • rapscallion,

        Correct me if I am wrong, but we are talking about Californian standards – right?

        Also correct me if I am wrong when I say the people who export motor vehicles are the automakers not the US government right?

        However in places the former USSR, I do believe that the then government most likely did the deals re exports and imports.

        Actually my country used to do the same thing with our pastoral exports.



      • @Roger 8:06 pm – The problem is regulations already in effect as well as actual laws. The more regulation the pricier the car. Prices could be dropped by about $4,500 by rolling standards back to 2011 with no negative impact on pollution. A large chunk of our U.S. population can no longer afford a new car and adding more useless standards will only increase that price.

        Also, I’m old enough to have paid 0.25 cents a gallon for gas back in the late 50’s in Texas. If you factor in inflation, gas at $2.50 a gallon is about economically equivalent to the late 50’s price.

        The rise in price is partly fueled by our exporting oil into the world market. We are now paying the world market price. Manipulation of supplies by OPEC and others is also determining part of the price increase.

        We will have some of the same problems with exporting natural gas. We will be buying off the world market and prices will increase. So it is not necessarily a good idea to be converting coal plants to natural gas plants.

    • Or just have Trump reply to the auto industry’s ‘climate change is real’ claim by simply asking them to prove that the trace gas CO2 causes ‘climate change’. If they cannot, then there is no need for vehicle fuel efficiency standards, full stop. The market will then decide which type and make of vehicle best suits their needs, and an awful lot of auto industry regulations can be canned. Simples.

      • Fuel efficiency standards are not just about pollution. They are reduce oil consumption, which has been largely imported. This reduces dependency on Middle East oil. Average fields last 20 years, only the biggest might last 50 so as that oil is depleted, it makes sense to have more efficient cars.

      • I know right…totally ridic!!!

        My AR’s can’t be seen riding around in some pansy-a$$ hybrid!


      • Stephen, a lot of people support the idea of freedom, but only until other people do something that they disagree with.

    • The argument that FE standards reduce crude imports is becoming very weak. In 2005 we imported nearly 13MM bbl/day crude and fuel products. This is now down to 2.5MM bbl/day due to exporting diesel and crude oil as well as a massive increase in domestic crude oil production. Crude oil and NG liquids production now exceeds 14MM bbl/day with total consumption of fuel products in the 17MM bbl/day range. Thus we are very energy independent with only limited amounts of crude imported.
      As far as countries of origin for import, Canada supplies 53% of the total imported crude with Mexico supplying 8% and Venezuela at 4%. Actually very little crude now comes from the Middle East.
      Domestic crude production is set to rise in the next 10 years as well, so energy security is not a very real concern anymore.

    • California gets to set standards not because of any particular moral or legal authority but because it has an outsize share of the car market. They constitute 12% of the U.S. market – about 2 million new vehicle sales per year.

      Having said that, Ford has announced that it is essentially leaving the sedan market in the U.S. and, noting that the Honda Civic is the best selling car there, one suspects that the Ford F-150 pickup truck is not a big seller in California. Perhaps Ford may be willing to change their tune a bit.

      • No, there is a specific statutory exception in the Clean Air Act allowing California to set auto pollution standards. Otherwise, the Commerce Clause would forbid such an action.

  2. I think Trump should respond by shutting down all US manufacturers of automobiles.

    • Lol. No. But the fact is that corporations across this land, whether it be auto or oil or sporting goods companies, have been infiltrated by effete leftists that think they are super righteous by virtue signaling and agreeing to everything the left wants, on climate change, guns, social issues.

      This is insidious. This growing, essentially pathological condition of corporate subservience to leftist political correctness is the real threat we face now.

      Well, another real threat is in fact to the quality of our automobiles.

      Indeed, Obama’s inane cafe mileage standards are causing engines to get smaller and materials to get lighter to the point of ridiculousness. Or you have to pay through the nose to get even a decent V-6 engine in an SUV. Screw the auto companies and their collusion in kowtowing to the draconian leftist regulations foisted upon them. Remove the cafe regulations, and if these companies won’t produce the cars we want then someone else will.

      End corporate virtue signaling!

      • “Well, another real threat is in fact to the quality of our automobiles.”

        Rubbish, car quality is better than ever.

      • “Rubbish, car quality is better than ever.”

        There have been a ton of problems with technologies required to improve fuel economy to meet the insane CAFE requirements. From broken CVTs to engines burning oil due to lower piston-ring tension and thinner oil to engines coking up due to direct in injection, none of those problems are things that buyers asked for. Most would rather burn a bit more gas than be faced with big repair or cleaning bills every few years.

      • Corporations are not the problem. Too much power in Washington is the problem. Corporations are reacting as expected.

      • Most industry trade groups are for crony capitalism. They are there to protect the “trade” by erecting barriers to entry for competitors. The California rules issue is just a smoke screen for more crony protectionism.

      • Quality, yes. Many auto’s now are high quality… after some of the inane BS is removed.

        My 2008 F250 Super Duty, 6.4 L PowerStroke was approaching the service interval for the DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter). It would have required replacing as the back pressure was beginning to increase. The prior owner used it as a daily driver with short trips.

        The DPF is in the exhaust system generally underneath the cab along passenger side of the vehicle. It has some fancy resistance heating elements in it with fine wire mesh screens. The part costs around $3500 to replace. If you don’t replace it before the exhaust back pressures increase excessively, you ruin your motor. This modification often done around 100,000 miles is often referred to as the “reliability mod”, so your motor isn’t ruined within the next 15 to 20 thousand miles.

        To clean the DPF you need to be at highway speeds for extended time periods while the motor recycles exhaust gasses through the EGR (exhaust gas re circulation system) to aid in increasing exhaust temperatures to a point that the minuscule amounts of black carbon this motor produces under normal operation is further combusted to CO2 and water.

        Or, if you don’t live in California (or particular counties which prohibit the practice), you simply take it to a reputable mechanic and have the DPF and EGR systems removed from your truck and have a decent reprogram that can recognize the lack of the DPF and EGR. It will usually cost less than half the expense of replacing the DPF alone.

        When I did this my combined fuel economy increased from 12.5 mpg to 21.2 mpg. The force exerted when towing increased very substantially. Under normal driving conditions there is no black cloud.

        The urea injection didn’t get going until after this truck was built. That system is another that is only required in a few states. In my state it is also quickly removed along with the DPF and EGR systems by many owners as soon as their warranty runs out.

      • My Toyota Tundra SR-5 4×4 5+ L V-8 gives me all the HP I need. I live in the country in SE PA @ 1000 ft. above sea level where we have our own weather climate and plenty of snow. Yes it only averages 13+ MPG so I bulk store 300 gal. of gas on my property. I don’t care if you don’t like it. SO THERE!

      • whats funny is they went to unibodies to save weight initially) and now my 2013 escape weighs (dry weight) 5100 lbs while my full frame 2010 marquis weighs 4200 lbs. and the marquis is longer and slightly wider.
        oh well, I made last panther platform (97 crown vic) last 18 years, can do so with marquis. can do repairs on full frame you cannot do on unibodies.

      • OweninGA right on!

        Industry always trues to protect its revenue.

        It’s not about climate, moral or Your wallet.

  3. Eric- the first thing popped into my head was, as you asked, “Well just go ahead and build them”. I would charge a premium to buyers who want one. But whatever the WH does, dont let Crazy Jerry lay out the policy. Back in the oil crisis days when the OPEC cartel was formed, the American industry started putting out gutless low mileage cars that were downright dangerous. I remember renting one and when I took an on ramp onto a busy super highway, I gunned it to get up to speed and wound up crippling into my lane at a dangerously slow speed with my foot to the floor. Thats what we’ll get with that strategy.

    • “Who says the automakers can’t follow the Californian regs without government force?”

      Ah, but some wouldn’t, and they’d suddenly capture most of the market in free-market America.

      Indeed, some manufacturers might decide not to make California-crippled cars at all.

      • But, what do we do when California decides to outlaw Carbon based fueled engines and force all Californians to drive Electric. Are we all going to have to jump off that cliff? Following California is nuts.

      • Exactly. Without a government mandate telling the industry what it must produce, businesses must compete to produce what customers want. But some businessmen are more comfortable with government setting the rules so they don’t have to really compete.

    • The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers is basically a front for Eurpoean car manufacturers and politics. Ford and GMH joined just to be able to fight and get heads up on what they were pushing. First thing the American auto-industry did when Trump got in was meet with him to look at relaxing efficiency rules.

      The alliance is also a nest of hypocrisy theoretically the alliance wants better fuel efficiency and emission standards but counts in it’s members the biggest motor emission scammers look at the list.

      I don’t think any government should take that mob of liars and scammer seriously.

  4. Stricter standards is probably a barrier to cheap Chinese/Asian import models,
    so General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co., Daimler AG and the like would be all for it.

  5. Trump never did, never would and never could say that California Has to soften State Standards to match any Federal Regulations. California could mandate Electric only inside State Borders and eliminate all gasoline sales within the state regardless of what Federal Regulations are.

    • +1 California likes to proclaim itself the conscience of the nation when it come to environment but in reality California produces much if not more pollutants than any state in the Union.

    • Under Interstate Commerce laws and the US constitution’s commerce clause, I would still be able to drive and operate my non-California compliant car there as an out-of-state visitor.

      The only ones who get the shaft are the People of California forced to buy Cal-compliant cars.

      • as far as half a tank of gas could get you then you would need to turn around to refill your tank…That or carry the gas you needed to refill your tank in Gas Cans with you as you enter. Wackyfornia might not stop you from entering the state in an auto with an ICE but they can advise you that gas isn’t available inside state borders.
        Who knows, they might even allow you to rent an electric Golf Cart to continue your trip inside state borders.

    • but all those would need to be wholly produced in state.
      interstate commerce law applies.
      the law that gets bastardized whenever needed for feds to take control.

  6. Should someone selling to 100% of a population piss off 50% of said population by spouting off about their political hysterical beliefs? Pretty sure my love affair with the great American auto just came to an end. Any good Chinese cars to street mod?

  7. They’re referring to Climate Rules. This means controlling CO2 emissions.
    Trump should ignore these hypocrites. CO2 is not a pollutant. Earth’s green canopy loves CO2 which is a vital component of photosynthesis. Trump must not swallow the bullshit!!!!

  8. Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, the industry’s leading trade group. It said carmakers “strongly support” continued alignment between federal mileage standards and those set by California.

    E.P.A. Prepares to Roll Back Rules Requiring Cars to Be Cleaner and More Efficient
    Major automakers would welcome the change. They are prepared to participate in making new rules that meet “our customers’ needs for affordable, safe, clean and fuel-efficient transportation,” said Gloria Bergquist, a spokeswoman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, which represents many of the world’s largest automakers.

    WTF ?

    • Yes the alliance is a nest of scammers and liars. It also has as members manufacturers who actively set about cheating the emission standard which is at complete odds to the stated goals of the alliance.

    • I love the dishonest water vapor “smoke” image of a car that was just started on a cool day to make the false impression of massive “visible” pollution from the tail pipe. Right out of the green playbook.

  9. it is far cheaper for the car makers to use the force of the federal government to force ALL of the other 49 states to subsidize the cars in California by making a single design nationally, than for them to build cheaper, more effective cars for the 49 states and very expensive unsafe small cars for the California market. California is a large market, but not the only market.

    Likewise, it is easier for the car makers to meekly “accept” a demand from the loud-mouth dictators in Washington to force backup TV’s on ALL cars nationally (spreading the high cost of development and parts and design and modifications on every car, than it is to “permit” optional TV cameras on only the car owners that want them. Development and design costs are same, but if everybody is forced to pay for development, the ones who want the backup cameras are forcing more people to share the cost – so they pay less.

  10. For deep conspiracy tin foil, the us auto companies want cars to die, and everyone to buy $40k+ pickups, I.e., only weak foreign competition. Also, tariffs on light trucks are incredibly high.

    • Ford is discontinuing all autos except for the Focus and mustang. Their pickups are their by seller. No tin foil hat needed.

      • Makes me want an F350 double cab long bed for road trips. I’d better hang onto my 2010 Toyota Corrolla for a daily driver… I wonder how long I can keep it going.

      • That F350 is a great road vehicle for towing a goose-neck travel trailer. It’s like taking your house on the road with you.

        I want one for livestock towing on my farm, but the price tag keeps driving me away.

      • And the Focus they’ll have isn’t a sedan, it’s the Focus Active, a crossover – thus the Mustang will be the only true car they’ll have with everything else being trucks, SUVs and crossovers.

      • I’ve been a FORD owner my entire driving life. My next car will not be a FORD because FORD will no longer be offering me any cars to purchase. (I’m not interested in sports/pony cars like the mustang). Haven’t decided which of the other manufacturers to buy my next car from.

  11. Quote: why not build automobiles which comply with stringent Californian standards, regardless of national standards?

    Indeed. It might be time for WUWT authors to put questions like this to the people who make this type of press release. Even if you don’t get an answer you can put “We asked xyz about abc but they have not responded”.

    Oh and just as a data point from a visitor to your wonderful country. Last month I hired a Jaguar XE (because the hire company didn’t have the Chevrolet Impala I reserved) and drove around 4000 miles. Most of the driving was on the interstate highway system. The Jag performed very well and averaged over 35mpg.I also had many occasions in the big cities where I needed to get up to speed to merge onto a freeway, or make the jump to light speed as I came to call the exercise. The Jag’s acceleration was pretty impressive. I only got the urge a few times to see whether it would keep accelerating to 100mph. I chickened out well before the car did.

    If that is the sort of car which the US car industry is producing then more power to you all (pardon the pun). And needless to say US$2.80 per US gallon (or $3.40 in CA) beats the heck out of A$1.50 per litre.

    • So many things about this post blowing my mind… getting a Jag XE because the rental didn’t have the Chevy Impala? The Jag is “…the kind of car the US car industry is producing”?

      1) Chevy still makes the Impala?
      2) An Impala is considered the same rental class as a Jag XE?
      3) A Jag is a US-made car now?

      Boy, I’m more out of the world than I knew.

      • All true. The hire car company was Thrifty. I rented from their O’Farrell Street office in San Francisco. Chevy definitely still makes the Impala although it is a vastly different vehicle to the Impala “Yank Tanks” I remember from years ago.

        I can’t explain Thrifty’s offer but my choices were a Chrysler 300 and the Jag. I was hiring for a month. Maybe they were the only two cars they had free for that long. As an added bonus the Jag had done about 2,500 miles. I guess everybody gets lucky now and again.

        It may well be that the Jag is made outside the USA. I should have said that it was an example of a vehicle which meets the US standards then lucky you.

      • Both Jaguar and Land Rover, although famed British marques, are now owned by India’s TATA MOTORS.
        They are not US made cars.

      • does ford still own jaguar or did the sale to tata (or whatever it was called) go through?

      • dmacleo: yeah, Ford unloaded all of the “Highline” brands and even sold off much of their Mazda stock.

    • Cal’s gas today is average US$3.70. That’s 8 cents more than Hawaii’s US$3.62 average.

      • Taxes? I was pretty pleased at the change in fuel prices when I left CA for Nevada. On the way back I figured it was still way less than I pay here in Australia.

      • $2.79-2.85 in Minneapolis…up from $2.49 about 1 mo ago. And we ain’t no bastion of ‘R’s around here but we have kept the gas taxes in check.

    • Here in the UK you can pay $9 a gallon! Prices are due to rise apparently…..

      • “How can anyone afford anything?”

        They can’t. Generally speaking, wages are lower, taxes are higher (e.g. 20% sales tax on most things) and prices are higher (anything imported tends be priced as though one pound equals one dollar).

        Just one of the reasons I left years ago.

    • It might be time for WUWT authors to put questions like this to the people who make this type of press release. Even if you don’t get an answer you can put “We asked xyz about abc but they have not responded”.

      Interesting thought. Most of the time the story is old news by the time you receive a response, might do this in the future if circumstances warrant – I published a response from James Hansen once.

      • Jaguar has British heritage, but in 2008 was sold by Ford to Tata motors of India.

        I should have said that if the Jag meets USA standards then lucky USA. It was a very nice car to drive. Certainly not the underpowered product of excessive regulation I had imagined.

  12. Yes, climate change is real—thank goodness! Otherwise much of N. America would be under an ice sheet.

  13. The simplest response is to ignore them, ignore California lawmakers and ignore all progressives.
    There is no working with them or any deals possible.
    So just beat them into oblivion and let them throw any fits they choose.

  14. I am not a ‘california compliant’ individual. Screw california, their moonbeam governor, and all of their fascist attempts to dictate everyday life to the rest of the USA!

  15. Car manufacturers are free to make their cars more efficient than is required by the federal government and all states are free to set more stringent requirements. But the reality is that based on the paleoclimate record and the work done with models, the climate change we have been experiencing is caused by the sun and the oceans over which mankind has no control. There is no real evidence that CO2 has any effect on climate and plenty of scientific rational to support the idea that the climate sensitivity of CO2 is zero, Even if we could somehow stop the climate from changing, extreme weather events and sea level rise would continue to happen because they are part of the current climate. The AGW conjecture is notorious for being based on only partial science. The AGW conjecture is based on the existence of a radiant greenhouse effect caused by trace gases in the Earth’s atmosphere with LWIR absorption bands. Such a radiant greenhouse effect has not been observed in a real greenhouse, in the Earth’s climate system or anywhere else in the solar system for that matter. If CO2 really affected climate then the increase in CO2 over the past 30 years should have caused at least a measurable increase in the dry lapse rate in the troposphere but that has not happened. The radiant greenhouse effect is science fiction so hence the AGW conjecture is nothing but science fiction.

    • “There is no real evidence that CO2 has any effect on climate”

      But then the promoters of these measures will switch to one of the other usual justifications:

      – reducing air pollution (NOx, fine particulates, etc.); but then, minimizing CO2 isn’t always correlated with minimizing air pollution, esp. when diesel was encouraged in France because of CO2 targets;
      – minimizing “dependency” on fossil fuels, whatever that is;
      – minimizing imports of fossil fuels; but then the very same people usually go all the way to prevent domestic extraction.

  16. Is there any evidence that energy economy mandates result in decrease of energy use? It’s a very counter intuitive hypothesis as less energy use is better for the consumer, unless one assumes complete market failure in fuel economy.

    Market failure can be explained by hidden characteristics of products and lack of information known by most consumers.

    Information can be unavailable for many reasons:

    – information may be a corporate secret;
    – people may be prevented from sharing information by confidentially agreements;
    – information may be accessible at a non trivial cost, like published research only accessible at a ridiculous price in “prestigious” “science” journals;
    – information may be public but difficult to interpret for the common man (like radiation exposure in mSv/year, not unit used every day by most people);
    – amount of common misinformation noise that covers the signal available in the public domain…

    Liter (or galon) is a unit used by the common man. Fuel use is hardly a mysterious technical factor unknown or beyond the intelligence or scientific understanding of the consumer. Fuel consumption is easily tested in the real world, and there is no confidentially agreement between car dealers and consumers that prevents from sharing their observations. There is no overwhelming force that prevent consumers from being well informed about a measurable characteristic of the product.

    And less gasoline use is not an end in itself; electric cars consume no gasoline but cost a lot more and require an immense amount of energy just to make the batteries. Less gasoline used does not mean less energy consumed overall. Consumers have no rational motive to always buy the more “fuel efficient” car, nor should they forced to, as there is no common good interest in putting the most “fuel efficient” cars on the roads either.

    • Is there any evidence that energy economy mandates result in decrease of energy use?

      There is the rebound effect where people change their behaviour and may actually consume more energy than they did before. LOL Greater fuel efficiency and lower fuel prices mean that most people are opting to drive SUVs and light trucks, even in California. link

    • I have been driving small Honda cars for a while as my daily commuter because of the fuel efficiency over their American competitors (of course one was built in Tennessee and the other in Ohio while the Ford I looked at was built in Mexico – but mine is considered foreign!). I usually have a larger vehicle for family transportation (until the kids all grew up and moved out) like a van or SUV. I also usually have a pickup for farm duties.

      I think that consumers will go where the value is for their needs unless the government interferes with mandates and tax breaks.

  17. I could have sworn California have had much more stringent rules for a long time due to the problem with ozone/smog in LA. This pathetic attempt at greenwashing won’t work for the auto companies because the greenies ultimately want an end to all automobiles – even electric (which are not particularly green either). They are just picking them off one-by-one. Diesel power is only in their sights now because it was being pushed very successfully as greener than gasoline power.

  18. Well, at least it’s better fuel economy for new vehicles. Which basically hurts no-one. It might make cars a bit more expensive to buy but should be recouped in lower fuel usage.

    Here in the EU we’re faced with new annual vehicle test (MoT) rules which are a blatant attempt by the Greens to get all diesels scrapped.

    This, after they TOLD us to buy diesels to combat climate change.

    • “It might make cars a bit more expensive to buy but should be recouped in lower fuel usage.”

      A lot of the cost of fuel is made of taxes (which means there is no excuse to leave the roads in bad shape). For example, in France, more than half of the price of gasoline is taxes (incl. VAT on other taxes).

      Lower gasoline use will be good for the car user but will end up being bad for the tax collector. New taxes will be created.

      Some people even promote the idea of a privacy killing road tax where every use of a road is recorded with a GPS and the driven distance is used as a tax base, instead of the amount of fuel.

      • Don’t worry. Our geniuses here in the UK have that one covered. It’s called the congestion charge. Started in London and now apparently to be rolled out on the A127 in Essex. I doubt if it will stop there. Is a future resembling the good ol’ USSR with commissars cruising near empty streets in chauffer-driven limousines while the rest take the bus what they have planned for us? Beware. Once communistic cancer takes hold …

    • Ian, your big mistake is assuming that the only difference between a CAFE complaint vehicle and one that isn’t, is the cost.
      In general, the way manufacturers meet CAFE standards is by making cars under powered and underweight.
      Both of these make cars more dangerous to drive.

      Regardless, what type of car I choose to drive, isn’t your call to make.
      Shall I pick what you eat for breakfast tomorrow?

  19. They basically are asking for trade barriers against new carmakers from developing countries, who cannot meet the stringent standard and, if denied the lucrative US market, will not be able to develop and compete with established members of Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers.
    I am in no position to confirm or deny that new cars are now cleaning the air in cities (that is, the exhaust gas contains less pollution that the air fed to the engine), but if true, then more stringent standard are not necessary, and may be counterproductive if manufacturing the new car to such standard require more pollution.

  20. I called the page out of interest. A text in which the automakers calling on Pres. Trump to make the California emissions regulations mandatory for the whole of the USA, I could not find with the best will. Therefore, one should also take this page away from fake news. The closest approximation came from the text of May 11th that carmakers are looking forward to Trump negotiating with California. Trump, however, is a businessman, the word “negotiating” is his standard retrospective and has absolutely nothing to do with his goals.

    What I noticed, however, is that this page mainly lists foreign automakers. Does the US have nothing to offer in terms of car manufacturing except for Ford, GM and (Italian / American) Fiat / Chrysler?

    • that’s pretty much it for US auto manufacturers. We used to have about 5 others, but they all either went bankrupt or were bought by one of the big three by the end of the 1970s. It also used to be true that the US big 3 owned major stakes in many of their European and Asian “competitors”. That seems to have reversed sometime by the late 2000 decade.

  21. Emission standards for cars are an excellent example of what goes wrong when politicians legislate.

    Since the rules only apply to cars many people drive something that is not a car, such as an SUV. This produces more emissions that a large car, so the law causes emissions to rise.

    Fuel efficiency has been steady rising, because it generally makes economic sense, pushing the boundaries past what makes sense will fail.

    • That’s right. There is an energy label for almost everything in the EU countries. The label ranges from A +++ to H. Since it may happen that an SUV gets the label A or B, a small car, however, the label C or D, although the SUV 10 liters of gasoline or 5 liters of diesel more swallows than the small car. This is the old trick of the auto industry, it has achieved that the policy of energy efficiency in size, weight, engine strength, etc. ties, although a small car would be enough to get from Stockholm to Hamburg. In addition, it was suggested that one is safer in an SUV. That is true only very conditionally. Assuming all cars were SUVs you would be in a SUV not a safer, rather the opposite.

  22. Alternatively, car manufacturers would quite like some regulations to keep out cheap-and-cheerful Chinese imports which are not a problem for them yet but can be expected to become so at some point

  23. They could always make Trabants for California and Cadillacs (or equivalent) for the other 49 states …
    what’s wrong with that?

    • The good old “Trabbi”. Its energy consumption was lower than that of most cars produced and produced in the West. Everything has it’s price. However, you could drive the Hochtauernstraße in Austria with a Trabbi only once in a lifetime. After that he was flat.
      Its energy consumption was lower than that of most cars produced in the West. The thing weighed 600 pounds and consumed about 5 liters / 100 kilometers and that with a lawnmower engine.
      A potential buyer of the Trabbi, however, was also flat when he finally had this mobile pedestal. Mostly it took with new car order until shortly before the pension until one was the proud owner of the Trabbi.
      A car fire was not allowed to happen, because then the energy balance would have been devastating, after the Trabbi was almost entirely made of plastic.

  24. There is usually an evil, contemptuous motive behind these things and you don’t need to stand on tippy-toes to see it. Automakers are weary of competing with themselves — their old selves. Until 2007 I drove an ’85 Econoline van. Until 2016 I drove a ’93 Corsica. Now in ’18 I’m driving an ’04 Malibu. Affordable, reliable and customer-serviceable used cars are a scourge that must be eliminated. By adopting California standards they could consign a third of all vehicles on the road to the scrap heap, and reduce the credit-challenged caste to transportation poverty.

    This is NOT a politically motivated game, it is come down to the city folk versus country folk. It is the city-folk that buy into profit oriented fake altruism and other scams. Populous urban areas are now cancers metastasizing with Marxist useful-idiots. What had begun as a cute provincial attitude towards rural areas has, with the emerging democratic majority of their fecund numbers, become directly threatening. The only thing at this point that might restore the balance would be a Mini Ice Age and a long, sustained Winter’s purge.

    Have a nice day.

  25. “Because climate change is real and we have a continuing role in reducing greenhouse gases”

    If the motor industry really wants to reduce greenhouse gasses they should just stop making cars…

  26. It’s all about the Benjamins. California compliant vehicles will be much more expensive thus profitable. The problem is with national standard otherwise identical vehicles also for sale it will be obvious just how much more expensive.

    Tesla owners are experiencing rising insurance rates. The aluminum bodywork is very expensive to repair and insurers now have enough data to adjust accordingly. The economics of “fuel efficiency” is entering the steep part of the curve.

  27. This could be virtue signalling, but more likely the California rules are seen as barrier to entry. Perhaps they will hurt foreign producers more, and are thus beneficial. Their logic is transparently stupid. “We need to follow a national standard, so let this one particular state set the standard.”

  28. Having no pollution standards at all is a bad idea. There needs to be sensible standards that are supported with open science data and meaningful economic data. For motor vehicles, there is very little environmental benefit beyond unleaded gasoline, catalytic converter, and fuel injection.

    Automakers have a problem today… the average age of the average automobile on the road will soon reach beyond the decade marker. This means growth of sales is going to dramatically slow… the automakers want the government to tell people to buy the new cars coming off the line which will otherwise languish unsold on the lot.

    Cars are too expensive and too reliable and too fuel efficient for the market to support itself. So, the inane and unreachable emissions targets are meant to force the market to buy the new vehicles which no one wants and wouldn’t buy.

    • As an auto mechanic and an enthusiast, I would almost argue even the catalytic converter is extraneous with the most recent injection systems.
      I believe the Left have accomplished a feat in removing any enthusiasm for mechanical devices from the latest generations: any type of individual motivation is frowned upon. New kids don’t care about cars or motorcycles. I haven’t seen a child on a bicycle in literally years. They’re all being carted around by mom or with the advent of Uber, there’s no need to rush off and get your own car.
      These are just observations from here in North Orange County, CA.

  29. They still have to build to the standards (or lack of standards) in every other country in the world. Why hurt American consumers outside of California?

  30. This is helpful. From Wiki

    “Notable absents include Asian manufacturers Honda, Nissan, Hyundai and Subaru.”

    Four companies dedicated to pleasing the consumer and not government.

  31. Will those restrictive California standards keep people from buying cheaper cars with less restrictive standards in other states, then moving to California? If not, the natural outcome is that NO cars are sold in California, and customers travel to Nevada, Arizona, or Oregon to buy their cars.

    • They can buy them out of state, but they can’t register them in CA until they meet the emissions standards.

      • I lived in Southern California for four years and never registered my car there. Kept my car registered in Louisiana and kept my Louisiana drivers license. Never got my car smog checked either.

  32. Clearly we need to empanel a Special Prosecutor to find out exactly who is coercing these companies and just what type of blackmail/extortion is being applied.

  33. Trump should tell them to get out of the country if they don’t want to build vehicles that the people actually want, and at a price they can afford.

    • Yeah, I always take what I read from Bloomberg with a (large) dose of salt. Since all that salt is not good for ones health, I tend to avoid reading from Bloomberg as much as possible.

  34. Why do the car companies need ever increasing government standards to meet? They can meet whatever standards they choose, government imposed or not. There should be basic standards and if the companies choose to do better they can use this as a selling point. Does everyone need to be hand held by the government?

    • Without the government mandate, the public would have obvious choices.

      I need a 4 seated automobile to take long trips in so I go shopping:

      Manufacturer A makes a really efficient car matching all these stringent engineering requirements and gets 50 mpg on the highway. It rides nicely and fits my passenger needs well so I consider it.

      Manufacturer B makes a really nice car meeting a less expensive but still pretty impressive set of standards and gets 44 mpg on the highway. It rides equally as nicely or maybe slightly better and fits my passenger needs. It costs 35% less than Manufacturer As very nice product.

      Most people are going to pay the 35% less up front for Car B if it is available. Manufacturer A is now in bankruptcy because they invested in the more expensive technology that they can not sell. Ten years later, all cars are equipped with the better technology because the costs of manufacture has come down. If government mandates that only Car A was available, I would continue driving my 15 year old car until it finally dies.

    • “Why do the car companies need ever increasing government standards to meet?”

      to be a barrier to competition entering the marketplace.

  35. There’s nothing stopping these “automakers” from going ahead and building all their cars to CA standards if that’s what they want. Heck, there’s no law preventing them from exceeding the CA standards.

    • (as you know doubt know) It’s not about them meeting CA standards or not, it’s about putting up barriers to their competition.

    • It looks like CA uses its large power on markets in a harmful way. Like a monopoly.

      Can monopolies still be broken up?

    • CA is free to set local rules. Tesla is an example of a car OK for California. True, it is for rich customers only. CA is going to make everybody rich, in the best traditions of progressivism. Pity that has not yet happened.

      • California is not free to set local rules. Many years ago the Federal government granted an exception for California. Government can easily take it away – and probably should because the purpose has been served and it is no longer valuable.

  36. Appearance management is not real news.


    Auto Makers Miss Deadline for Repairing Explosive Air Bags
    NHTSA sent letters to 12 car manufacturers seeking information on their progress

    Self-driving cars are scaring more people
    More Americans say they wouldn’t ride in a self-driving car than those surveyed in 2017, according to AAA.
    The report attributes the increased concern to highly publicized accidents involving self-driving cars.

  37. Wait so Trump wants one standard for efficiency and emmissions – not the fragmented 2-3 standards approach we have now but to this auto association having 1 standard with Trump equals 2 or three during a time of great innovation.

    I think this is a read between the lines comment. Auto industry has invested billions in wasteful technologies due to the government and see that money and additional subsidies they were promised flushed away if the new standards are imposed.

  38. “Because climate change is real and we have a continuing role in reducing greenhouse gases”

    So, if that’s true, and that’s really your motivation for pushing the CA standards on the rest of the country, what’s preventing you from meeting those standards all on your own without the force of a government gun to your head?

    Answer: because that’s a load of bull, and the real reason you are pushing those standards via government is to be a barrier to prospective competitors.

  39. Forcing every car maker to follow the same standards prevents some upstart from horning in.

    If the big automakers voluntarily build all their cars to California standards, it will open a market for real cars that someone will step up to fill. They’ll undercut the big guys, which will force them to start making real cars again to compete.

    Interestingly, that’s exactly how the free market is supposed to work. When there’s a demand, someone will step in to fill the supply…for a price.

    This is nothing more than protectionism. Corporate welfare at its finest. They want the government to prevent their competitors from being able to innovate and compete with them.

    • Well put, Sailorcurt. And precisely accurate. This is what government is supposed to protect us against…not aide and abet!


  40. The same scam as always using logic which only impresses the logic free.

    “Make us do what we claim we want to do anyway”

    Great. Do it, no legislation needed. Done.

    Yes, it is that simple.

    Of course the reality is, they want govt to take away the risks of what they claim they know will work by forcing their choices on everyone. No, that’s not markets and it’s not competition.

  41. John Endicott wrote:
    “I’ve been a FORD owner my entire driving life. My next car will not be a FORD because FORD will no longer be offering me any cars to purchase. (I’m not interested in sports/pony cars like the mustang). Haven’t decided which of the other manufacturers to buy my next car from.”

    I recommend Hyundai. I’ve got an Elantra (used, but with only 6 miles on it… it was a dealer loaner car, but it has a manual transmission, so no one wanted to drive it… got it cheap.), did a hard break-in of the engine (4-cylinder 1.4 liter) to get excellent ring seal, changed the oil at 50 miles, 100 miles, 200 miles, 400 miles, 800 miles, 1600 miles and every 3000 miles after that. Started using Royal Purple synthetic after 10,000 miles, dino oil before that. Put tungsten disulfide (WS2) in the engine every third oil change.

    If I’m cruising at anything below 55 MPH, I have to feather on and off the accelerator. At 60 MPH, it takes just the slightest depression of the accelerator to maintain speed. I’ve had the car up to 125 MPH, and the accelerator wasn’t to the floor even then. I regularly get 40 MPG, and I don’t baby it or try to hypermile. It’s all in how you break the engine in.

    Never had a bit of trouble with the car, except for a mouse who got in and raided the under-hood insulation, but didn’t cause any other trouble.

    Apparently Hyundai’s working on a new engine that’ll get even better mileage… and doing a hard break-in with that sort of engine should get some pretty good fuel mileage.

  42. “Operating under two or three sets of regulations would be inefficient and disrupt a period of rapid innovation in the auto industry,” Schwietert wrote, ”

    This is utter nonsense, the companies already make about 20 or more different models each with numerous engine options and various sizes/weights including at least two different truck sizes some of which get terrible gas mileage. They should be happy to satisfy customer demands.
    What is the big deal having yet another engine choice especially I doubt that the Obama MPG is achievable for gasoline powered cars, without resorting to super small cars unsuitable for most families?
    Also one of the options is the electric car which they are already pursuing which has a favorable way of calculating gas mileage.
    Isn’t California banning the IC engines anyway, down the road?
    Apparently they are afraid to anger the green energy crowd and ignore others wishes to have a comfortable cost efficient car.

  43. The best course is to ignore both the Car-Makers and California and Governor “MoonBeam” until they come to their sense or go broke or both. By the way,I always love to see that photo of Ecologist Schwarzenegger driving his Hummer!

  44. This is the game that the US auto makers play. Get the EPA to pass ridiculous regulations that teh US auto makers have already engineered into their cars to stymie competition.

  45. This is a (semi-) free country, Trump isn’t forcing automakers to build bigger cars.

  46. Conform to “California Rules”?
    According to California about the only thing that doesn’t cause cancer or birth defects are illegal immigrants. (Legal immigrants, in CA, might.)
    Are all the automakers (other that Tesla) volunteering to make rickshaws for illegal immigrants to haul us all around in?

  47. If automakers are proclaiming that climate change is real, there is not much that can be done to inject scientific logic in the debate. Sheeps are asking to be slaughtered. The warmists are winning.

    • climate change is real, the climate has been changing since before man appeared on this mudball and it will continue to change long after we are gone. What isn’t real is the idea that man is responsible/at fault for the climate changing. What isn’t real is that CO2 (plant food) is a dangerous pollutant.

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