Why CARB Boycotts LA Auto Show: Still Meets with Fab Four VW, BMW Honda & Ford

For the first time in more than 50 years the California Air Resources Board will not be attending the LA Auto Show. Each year, top CARB officials have taken a company-by-company tour led by the Global Automakers and the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers to see new vehicles and meet with company executives. This year CARB will not take that annual tour.

The decision not to attend the LA Auto Show is a direct response to the action taken last month by 15 automakers, including GM and Toyota, and the National Automobile Dealers Association, to side with the Trump administration in its effort to eviscerate California’s authority under the Clean Air Act to set its own vehicle emissions standards.

CARB commissioners and staff are not attending the show but did attend offsite events.

“I  look forward to it every year. It’s a lot of fun,” said Nichols however “We’re sending the message that this is not business as usual. We are mad that automakers joined lawsuits against California and then issued misleading press releases.”

In a conference call Nichols noted that the “Fabulous Four”  – Ford, Honda, Volkswagen and BMW – continues to support California standards even when threatened by lawsuits.

The automakers that join the Trump administration still want the benefits of the California rebates and other incentives for clean cars while fighting against the state.

“We are not drawing up a draw bridge. We’re still talking to automakers some have come forth and are not willing to sign a MOU but want to meet the standards” says Nichols. However she notes that all automakers have staffs of attorneys and are used to being sued.

The state of California will not be buying non-complying brands in the future.  Nichols explained that where automakers sell their clean vehicles is all about a three-year bookkeeping period.

The car makers who have joined with Trump against California are, despite their statements explaining their rationale and in opposition to their claims of concern for the environment, on the side of building dirty cars that pump smog-forming and carbon pollution into the air.

Those companies include: Toyota, General Motors, Fiat-Chrysler, Hyundai, Isuzu, KIA, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, Suzuki, Aston Martin, Maserati, Ferrari, and McLaren.

On November 15 California Attorney General Xavier Becerra  led a multistate coalition in filing a lawsuit challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) attempt to revoke the portions of a waiver it granted California in 2013 that permit the state to implement its greenhouse gas (GHG) and zero emission vehicle (ZEV) standards. The action, filed in the D.C. Circuit, is part of the state’s ongoing fight to protect California’s Advanced Clean Car Standards. These standards are followed, in whole or in part, by 13 other states and are a key part of state efforts to protect public health and the environment.


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