General Motors said in a statement that it wants to work "with all parties to achieve one national 50-state program", adding that it was committed to "continually improving fuel economy and our commitment to an all-electric future". "California will continue to invest in charging stations to meet consumers' demand for zero-emission cars and make them available regardless of your income level".
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said the state would "use every legal tool at its disposal" to defend the tougher rules. It's likely to set up a lengthy legal battle between California and the Trump administration.
Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown responded swiftly. Under his reckless scheme, motorists will pay more at the pump, get worse gas mileage and breathe dirtier air. At least twelve other states and the District of Columbia follow California's rules.
The Obama administration had planned to keep toughening fuel requirements through 2026, saying those and other regulations on vehicles would save 40,000 lives annually through cleaner air. That argument remained on the EPA's website Thursday. The Trump administration released plans to freeze vehicle mileage goals and do away with California's right to set its own, more stringent emissions rules.
The proposal also took a swipe at California, accusing the state of focusing "disproportionately" on greenhouse gas emissions at the expense of overall air quality.
Soon after taking office, President Donald Trump called for a rollback, urging "common sense changes" if the mileage requirements threatened auto industry jobs.
At a May meeting in the White House, auto firms appealed to Trump to tap the brakes on the administration's aggressive rollback plan.
California has had the authority under the half-century-old Clean Air Act to set its own mileage standards to combat its chronic smog problem.
"There are compelling reasons for a new rulemaking on fuel economy standards for 2021-2026", said Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.
"If the United States emissions dropped to zero-that means all electrical generation emissions, all transportation emissions, all manufacturing emissions-if they all went to zero, it would be very hard to see that signal in the global temperature even by the year 2100".
Representatives of the US auto industry praised the administration's proposal, even as some automakers privately have expressed unease at the prospect of abrupt changes in fuel standards and having to meet different standards in different states. Another analysis estimates that an average family would end up spending $200 more a year because of the changes, and perhaps as much as $500 more.
Automakers view the new proposal as a starting point for negotiations with California, with hopes of keeping one fuel efficiency standard for the entire nation. Colorado is set to become the 13th state soon. Before a crowd of autoworkers assembled at a decommissioned auto factory, Trump said "we're going to work on the CAFE standards so you can make cars in America again".
Mitch Bailwol, the president and chief executive of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, said in April that he remains committed to one national mileage and emissions standard. "Safety is up, fuel economy is up and sales are up".