California To Stop Buying Cars From Automakers Siding With Trump On Emissions

"Carmakers that have chosen to be on the wrong side of history will be on the losing end of CA’s buying power," tweeted Gov. Gavin Newsom.

The state of California will stop buying vehicles for the state fleet from automakers siding with President Donald Trump in his decision to override state rules and weaken tailpipe emission standards.

Trump’s anti-environment moves to roll back auto pollution standards are being challenged in court. In the meantime, car companies siding with Trump ― including General Motors, Toyota and Fiat Chrysler ― won’t be selling any vehicles to the state government starting in January. 

“Carmakers that have chosen to be on the wrong side of history will be on the losing end of CA’s buying power,” Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) tweeted. The state will stop “purchasing vehicles from carmakers that have refused to protect our air & chosen to follow the regressive ways” of Trump, he added. 

The state spent $74 million on its fleet of passenger cars last year, according to data from the Department of General Services cited by CalMatters, including $27 million for General Motors vehicles. Other companies affected include Nissan (which collected approximately $5 million from the state last year), Toyota ($3.6 million) and Fiat Chrysler ($3 million).

Ford ($18 million) joined Volkswagen, BMW and Honda in striking a deal with California to follow the state’s greenhouse gas emission standards. 

A GM representative told The New York Times that California’s decision deprives the state of the company’s “affordable” electric-powered vehicles.

The San Diego Union Tribune noted in an editorial Monday that Newsom’s decision may have “jump-started” a consumer boycott of car companies that sided with Trump.

California’s vehicle purchases will be restricted to companies that “recognize the California Air Resources Board’s authority to set greenhouse gas and zero emission vehicle standards — and which have committed to continuing stringent emissions reduction goals for their fleets,” the Department of General Services said in a statement. 

Beginning immediately, the state will stop buying sedans fueled only by gasoline, and all purchases must be electric or hybrid vehicles. The changes include exceptions for public safety vehicles.

Trump in September ordered the revocation of a waiver granted by the federal government decades ago with bipartisan support that allowed California to establish its own stricter environmental standards. California’s authority over emission standards was formally stripped by the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

California led 22 other states in suing the NHTSA in September. On Friday, the state sued the EPA to block the change.