4. Go deeper on the California deal
Here's a little more on the fallout...
What they're saying: I chatted with Dan Becker of the Safe Climate Campaign, who said details of the framework — including how it credits technology adoption — mean that in practice it's far weaker than the Obama rules.
- He estimates that it will provide only about half the emissions reductions as the prior mandates that the White House is scuttling.
- Becker also noted that several of these automakers are already moving toward cleaner vehicles for their own reasons, noting VW's electric vehicle commitments that stem from the diesel emissions cheating scandal.
The bottom line: “I am not really sure we are getting a whole hell of a lot out of this deal that we are not getting anyway,” Becker said.
- However, he welcomed the pledge by the 4 automakers not to challenge California's programs implemented under its Clean Air Act waiver.
Meanwhile, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers — which includes Ford, GM, Fiat-Chrysler and other heavyweights — didn't take an explicit position. But their statement points out that California, which has planned to carry out the Obama-era rules, has bended a bit.
- "[Thursday's] announcement of the framework of an agreement by California and certain automakers acknowledges that the [model year] 2022-2025 standards developed by the Obama administration are not attainable and need to be adjusted," they said.
Between the lines: The 4 automakers' separate deal illustrates how the industry is in an awkward spot. It supported Trump's effort to revisit the rules, but doesn't like the plan to freeze them outright.
The other side: EPA, for its part, called the whole thing a "PR stunt."
- The Washington Post reports, "Trump officials quickly rejected the new deal as a blueprint for federal mileage goals and said they would press ahead with their planned rollback."