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General Motors Withdraws Support for Trump Administration’s Clean Cars Rollback

WASHINGTON - Today, following Donald Trump’s defeat three weeks ago, General Motors withdrew its support for the Trump administration's attack on California's clean car standards after a year of pressure from environmental, clean air, consumer and faith advocates.

Most recently, more than a quarter of a million Americans -- including tens of thousands of Sierra Club supporters -- told the CEOs of major automakers General Motors, Toyota, and Fiat-Chrysler to abandon their support for the Trump administration’s rollback of national and state clean car standards, which will cost Americans $300 billion at the pump, increase climate pollution, and harm lung health. 

Recently, E&E News published the findings of a monthslong investigation that found that major US automakers GM and Ford Motor Company knew emissions from automobiles contributed to climate change as early as the 1960s and in the decades to follow, spread misinformation and lobbied nationally and globally against climate policies.

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In response to the announcement, Katherine Garcia, Deputy Director of National Strategies for Sierra Club’s Clean Transportation for All campaign, released the following statement:

"Today’s announcement represents the immense power of public accountability. We applaud the hundreds of thousands of activists across the country whose tireless efforts to pressure polluting automakers led to General Motors’ announcement. The work of these activists will protect the health, safety, and pocketbooks of American families and ensure that communities across the nation can breathe cleaner air. We demand that Toyota and Fiat-Chrysler follow suit and withdraw from the Trump Administration’s attack.”

Background of significance of California’s authority:

The first part of the clean cars rollback revoked the waiver that allows California to adopt and enforce stronger greenhouse gas emissions standards on new cars and light trucks than the federal government’s and also allows the state to require auto manufacturers to sell increasing numbers of electric vehicles in the state.

EPA’s revocation of California’s waiver has wide-reaching implications - it also affects the population in 14 states plus D.C. that have adopted these stronger restrictions on pollution from cars, and over 11 states that have adopted the Zero Emission Vehicle standards. The clean car standards protect the environment and the public health of more than 118 million people, upwards of 40 percent of the U.S. population.

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The Sierra Club is the oldest and largest grassroots environmental organization in the United States. It was founded on May 28, 1892 in San Francisco, California by the well-known conservationist and preservationist John Muir, who became its first president. The Sierra Club has hundreds of thousands of members in chapters located throughout the US, and is affiliated with Sierra Club Canada.

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