Automakers side with EPA and California on emissions standards

Ford, VW and Honda are among a group of automakers who are siding with the Biden administration in its bid to reverse the Trump administration’s withdrawal from the state of California’s ability to set its own emissions standards. California’s standards were stricter than the federal CAFÉ standard — which was partially relaxed under President Trump.

Ford has filed a motion to intervene with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over a challenge to California’s ability to set its own vehicle emissions standards.

The issue has caused division in the auto industry in North America, as it generally favors the principle of one federal standard rather than multiple standards, which can complicate and potentially increase operating costs.

Looked at another way, advancing electrification worldwide means that some automakers prefer to go further and faster with lower emissions standards in the US.

Ford says it has consistently supported stricter greenhouse gas standards even when EPA didn’t, and “this suit continues Ford’s leadership as the only U.S. automaker to support California in supporting stricter vehicle emissions standards in 2019.”

Ford executives Steven Croley, Chief Policy Officer and General Counsel, and Bob Holycross, Chief Sustainability, Environment & Safety Engineering Officer, made the following statements regarding the importance of Ford’s environmental actions:

“Ford is fighting climate change. We support the EPA’s recent waiver decision to empower California and other states to protect people’s health and fight climate change by setting and enforcing air pollution standards and zero-emission vehicle requirements. This is the right thing to do for people and the planet, but it is also critical to the future success of the automotive industry. It brings us closer to a zero-emission transport future, and it ensures regulatory stability and a level regulatory playing field for the entire industry.” – Steven Croley, Chief Policy Officer and General Counsel

“Ford is proud to have been the only full-line US automaker to side with more aggressive emissions standards in 2019 and we are the only ones doing so today. By participating in this action, we are joining a diverse coalition of states and communities already feeling the effects of climate change to advocate for the health, economic and mobility benefits that electric vehicles can provide.” – Bob Holycross, Chief Engineering Officer Sustainability, Environment and Safety.

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