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WASHINGTON/DETROIT (Reuters) – Four major automakers said on Thursday they have reached an agreement with California on fuel efficiency rules, bypassing a Trump administration effort to strip the state of the right to fight climate change by setting its own standards.
California and other states had vowed to enforce stricter Obama-era emissions standards, after President Donald Trump proposed rolling back the federal rules. Automakers had worried that court battles between state and federal governments could create years of uncertainty for manufacturers. Environmental groups had mixed reactions to the California compromise, which is voluntary for the automakers and not legally binding. The plan is more stringent than Trump’s proposal but looser than the Obama-era rule. California, the most populous U.S. state, accounts for about 12% of U.S. vehicle sales, and if the administration recognizes the deal it would allow automakers to operate under one set of rules.
“Ensuring that America’s vehicles are efficient, safe and affordable is a priority for us all,” Ford Motor Co (F.N), BMW AG (BMWG.DE), Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE) and Honda Motor Co Ltd (7267.T) said in a joint statement. They said the accord could help maintain a nationwide set of fuel efficiency requirements.