Calif. punches back at companies supporting Trump

Source: By Maxine Joselow, E&E News reporter • Posted: Monday, November 18, 2019

California state agencies will stop buying cars from companies that support President Trump’s attack on state clean car standards, officials announced Friday.

The move marks the latest escalation in the battle between California and the White House over the climate rules for cars.

The decision affects General Motors Co., Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, Toyota Motor Corp. and 10 other major automakers.

Those companies sided with the Trump administration last month in the legal fight over California’s ability to set vehicle emissions standards that are tougher than those of the federal government (Climatewire, Oct. 29).

California’s Department of General Services, which purchases vehicles for state agencies, said the decision will take effect in January.

Separately, the department will stop buying gas-powered vehicles for state agencies, effective immediately.

The two directives follow a September executive order from California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) calling on state agencies to crack down on planet-warming pollution.

“The state is finally making the smart move away from internal combustion engine sedans,” Newsom said in a statement Friday.

“Carmakers that have chosen to be on the wrong side of history will be on the losing end of California’s buying power,” he added.

General Motors will bear the brunt of the new directive. California state agencies spent $27 million on passenger vehicles from GM-owned Chevrolet last year, according to CalMatters.

GM spokeswoman Jeannine Ginivan didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.