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Ford Reaffirms Backing for Aggressive Clean-Air Standards

June 8, 2022
The automaker filed a motion supporting EPA against a challenge to California’s authority to set vehicle emission standards, emphasizing its own views on public health and climate change.

Ford Motor Co. reaffirmed its support for strict vehicle-emission standards in an ongoing case that sets 23 states against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and seeks to keep California from setting its own fuel-efficiency standards. Ford announced it filed a motion to intervene on the side of EPA against the other states’ challenge to California’s authority “to protect public health and combat climate change,” Ford stated.

Back in 2019 EPA overruled California and set a common fuel-mileage standard, though the now Biden Administration backs California’s authority in the matter.

California standards are generally more stringent than those set by nationwide by EPA, and this has been a point of conflict for some states that desire less regulation, and some automakers that seek more a gradual approach.

In 2019 the Trump Administration and the EPA overruled California by establishing a common fuel-mileage standard. That pitted California against the EPA and split the OEMs – though Ford now emphasizes it “consistently supported stricter greenhouse gas standards even when EPA did not…”

California and 22 other states sued the EPA to block the 2019 effort, and the state made a voluntary agreement with Ford, Honda of America, BMW of North America, and Volkswagen Group of America, to raise gas-mileage standards and cut greenhouse gas emissions.

California has ruled it will ban the sale of new gas-powered cars starting in 2035, which is a more aggressive position on vehicle emissions than the current federal standard.

However, the Biden Administration’s EPA is siding with California against the one-standard position that has been its own policy, even though the Administration’s stated goal is for all-electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles to comprise just 50% of new-vehicle sales by 2030.

“Ford is proud to have been the only full-line American automaker to take the side of more aggressive emissions standards in 2019 and we’re the only one to do so today,” according to a statement by chief sustainability, environment, and safety engineering officer Bob Holycross. “By joining this action, we are joining a diverse coalition of States and communities already feeling the impacts of climate change to advocate for the health, economic and mobility benefits electric vehicles can provide.”

General Motors sided with the Trump Era policy in 2019, but earlier this year it stated it recognized California’s regulatory authority to establish vehicle emissions standards.