Trump-California Rift Widens as Auto Emissions Talks Fail

U.S. federal officials have decided to end negotiations with California over the Trump administration’s plans to roll back fuel economy rules designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, a government official said on Wednesday. California and 19 other states have demanded the Trump administration abandon a proposal made in August to freeze fuel efficiency standards after 2020 and strip California of the ability to impose stricter rules.

Aside from the threat of increased pollution, Detroit automakers have the greatest financial interests at stake. General Motors, Ford Motor Co and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles generate most of their global profits from sales of fuel-thirsty large pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles in the United States. All three have discontinued or planned to drop small and medium-sized sedans from their lineups to focus on trucks and SUVs.

The rules to require automakers to roughly double average fuel efficiency by 2025 – with a corresponding decline in carbon dioxide emissions – were one of the Obama administration’s most significant climate policy actions.

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