California looks for ways to preserve environmental clout

ABC News | 9/19/2019 | Staff
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In eliminating California's authority to set its own emission standards for cars and trucks, the Trump administration would take away leverage the state needs to convince the world's largest automakers to make more environmentally friendly vehicles.

But one California lawmaker is already working on a way to preserve at least some of the state's environmental muscle: rebates for electric cars.

California - Residents - Zero-emission - Vehicle - State

California residents who buy or lease a zero-emission vehicle can get up to $7,000 from the state. A bill by Democratic Assemblyman Phil Ting would mean people could only get that money if they buy a car from a company that has agreed to follow California's emission standards.

The proposal comes as the Trump administration on Wednesday announced it was revoking California's authority to set its own auto emission standards — authority it has had for decades under a waiver from the federal Clean Air Act.

California - Vehicles - Influence - Auto - Industry

California has 35 million registered vehicles, giving it outsized influence with the auto industry. That heft was on display in July, when Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom announced four automakers — Ford, BMW, Honda and Volkswagen — agreed to follow California's standards, bypassing the Trump administration, which had been working on new rules.

California officials have been negotiating with other automakers to follow suit, but those talks stalled Wednesday when Trump announced, via Twitter, that he was revoking California's authority to set its own emission standards.

Ting - Proposal - CalMatters - California - Ways

But Ting's proposal, first reported by CalMatters, shows California has other ways it could entice automakers to follow its environmental lead. David Vogel, a professor emeritus of business ethics at the Haas School of Business of the University of California-Berkeley, noted California could accomplish its goals through various tax changes, which the federal government could not stop.

"Even if the Trump administration would win on this, California could use taxes to accomplish much of the same...
(Excerpt) Read more at: ABC News
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